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PIQUE. 



A PLAY OF TO-DAY, 



IN FIVE ACTS. 



AUGUSTIN DALY. 



AS ACTED AT DALY'S NEW FIFTH AVENUE THEATEE FOR 
THE FIRST TIME, DECEMBER 14th, 1875. 




NEW YORK: 

PRINTED AS MANUSCRIPT ONLY, FOR THE AUTHOR. 

1884. 
to 



DRAMATIS PERSONiE AND ORIGINAL CAST. 



MATTHEW STANDISH.VThe Massachusetts Mill-owner, whose 

word was law Mr. Charles Fisher 

CAPTAIN ARTHUR STANDISH, U. S. N., his son, Mr. D. H. Harkins 
DOCTOR GOSSITT, Everybody well, but his hands full, 

Mr. John Brougham 
Mr. RAYMOND LESSING, To whom the ways of false love 

and true love are equally rough . . Mr. 'Maurice Barrymore 
SAMMY DYMPLE, A young millionaire, in search of what 

money can't buv Mr. James Lewis 

THORSBY GYLL, His chum, with an eve, however, for 

Number One "... Mr. John Drew 

RAGMONEY JIM, Tramp, Victim of Emotional Insanitv with 

respect to what belongs to other people, Mr. Frank Hardenberg 
PADDER, His mate. No insanity at all ; knows what he wants 

and tries to get it Mr. William Davidge 

PICKER BOB, Another. Engaged in the little job, 

Mr. Charles Rockwell 

RATTLIN, Boatswain Mr. W. Beekman 

CAPTAIN SPEERS, Municipal Police Mr. I. Deveau 

Guests, Tramps, Sailors, Police. 

MABEL RENFREW Miss Fanny Davenport 

LUCILLE RENFREW, The Banker's Pretty Widow; rather 

young for a Stepmother, but the right age for a rival, 
,,.^,. r. Miss Emily Rigl 

MARY STANDISH, " Who was passed bv," . . Miss Jeffreys-Lewis 
AUNT DOROTHY, "Everybody's Aunt," . . . Mrs. G. H. Gilbert 

RAITCH, A Waif from the Slums Miss Sydney Cowell 

MOTHER THAMES, The Tramps' Housekeeper . Miss Kate Holland 

SYLVIE, The Foreign Maid Miss Lizzie Griffith 

LITTLE ARTHUR . . . . .^ ^ Bell Wharton 

TABI.EAUX. 



First.— PIQUE! 

The Conservatory at Gvassraere on a night in August (by James Roberts). The 
soft passion in every form. The choice of a husband from many lovers. 

Second.— THE TWILIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT. 

THE OLD PURITAN HOME AT DEERFIELD— (By Chas. W. Witham, from a 
study on the spot.) How the Bride was brought home, but Something was left behind. 

Third.— THE PRISONER AND HER CHILD. 

The Same. A mad 'resolve — and its consequences. 

Fourth.— SEARCHING FOR THE LOST. 

THE DOCTOR'S STUDY— (By Louis Duflocq.) Dymple unravels a secret deeper 
than the Sphinx. / .■ r i- 

FIFTH.— BEHIND TRINITY CHURCHYARD— (By James Roberts.) The under 
•ide of a great City. 

Sixth.— LURED TO THE DEN. 

BEGGARS' PARADISE, Thames Street— (By Louis Duplocq.) The great web 
spun by crime, and a struggle in its meshes. A HAT WANTED. 



Seventh.— NIGHT AND MORNING. 

Parlors at the Renfrew city residence— (By James Roberts.) Love ends where 
Love began. 



After the First Act, one year is supposed to elapse. After the Second Act, two 
years. After the Third Act, one month. After the Fourth Act, one day. 

Copyright, 1884, By Auqustin Daly. 



ACT I. ' 

Scene. — The Conservatory at Grassmere, a country seat on the Hud- 
son. A night in Augmt. Music heard off, as if from parlors 
beyond. Padder, a toaiter, enters, R. 1 E., carrying a tray, 
with ices, etc. At hack, company dancing. 

Padder. I wouldn't be paid to dance on such a night. Hot 
enough carrying these ices and iced sherries. \_Looks around.'] 
Glass o' wine, Padder? \_Same business.'] Thank'ee, if nobody's 
looking, I will ! \_Same business.] He, he. \_Enipties one of the 
glasses.] If I've took one of them, to-night, I've smouched a 
dozen. 

Dr. Gossitt enters c, — type of old family physician ; Pad. sees him 
and is embarrassed — with glass in his hand, which he finally 
puts in his pocket. 

Doctor. [Asif heated, from ball-room.] Whew! Thermometer 
eighty-eight, and rising! Ah! my good man, you come very 
seasonably. [ Takes an ice and begins to eat, sitting on c. seat] 

Pad. I wouldn't like to take a contract to cool him off. 

Exits c, passing Lucille, who enters c. r. 

Doc. [l., seated.] Not a bad place, this, for a quiet reverie. 

Lucille, [r. c] No, my dear Doctor, not a bit of it. [She 
comes forward ; a fashionable young widow.] 

Doc. [l.] [Rising quickly.] Eh! — Oh! Not a bit of what, 
Mrs. Kenfrew? 

Luc. Of seclusion from me or my guests, hermit that you are. 

Doc. At least let me have the evening to myself To-morrow 
there will be work enough. First, there will be your headache 
— then Mabel's headache — and then the usual colics in the ser- 
vants' hall, after a night of unlimited heeltaps and ice cream 
slops. 

Luc. First, then, my dear Doctor, I shall have no headache 
to-morrow, becaui=e I must look after Mabel, and secondly, JNIabel 
will be as sprightly as a lark, because — [Pauses.] 



4 PIQUE. 

Doc. Because? 

Lug, She is too much in love. 

Doc. [l.] In love? Are you certain? Are there symptoms 
of the malady ? 

Luc. My diagnosis is perfect. She blushes at the sound of a 
certain voice — starts at a certain footstep — and affects tlie damp 
night air on the piazza, with a certain gentleman. [ Crosses to L. 
Looks jff as if %vatclnng.'\ 

Doc. From whom I suppose she caught the infection. 

Liic. Instantly. [ Crosses to l.] 

Doc. And his name? 

Luc. Look behind you ! 

Raymond Lessing crosses at back, with Mary Standish on his 
arm. They chat in a friendly manner, as if mere acquaintances. 
Both seem to he occupied with other things — both looking off to 
the R. constantly. They stop before a flower. 

Doc. What? Mr. Raymond Lessing? \She nods and smiles.'] 
A notorious flirt. 

Luc. Oh, Doctor! [^Crosses to Yi. at back, looking into hall-room.'] 

Doc. A dawdler ! A dandy ! A fellow who spends most of 
his time at clubs and in drawing-rooms — the rest of it on the 
road — and all of it in mischief. 

Luc. Hush, he'll hear you ! 

Raymond. [ To Mary.] Fond of flowers, I perceive ! [ Yawns 
slightly.] 

Mary. I was bred among them. And when I see them here, 
feel the same pity that I do for birds in a cage. 

Ray. \_Listlessly.] Ah! [^Looking off, L. u. E.] 

Mary. Look at these. They are natives of Mexico, brought 
here to languish in a hothouse and die for one breath of fresh, 
spring air. 

Ray. 'Pon my word, I think they ought to be very grateful 
for the trouble they give. [ They stroll off] 

Doc. Idiot ! 

Luc On the contrary, I think him a most entertaining person. 
He has the reputation of being irresistible among the fair sex. 

Doc. [l.] I have heard that he is as dishonorable and double- 
faced a fellow as ever made love to two women at once. 

Luc. So much the worse for those foolish girls who mistake 
his well-bred gallantry for sincerity. 

Doc. [r.] And the young lady with him is one of that sort, 
I suppose? 

Luc. She, oh dear, no ! — quite a stranger. This is her first 



PIQUE. 

visit to Grassmere. A country lass — cousin of Captain Standish, 
whom you know. 

Doc. Standish's cousin? How comes it that she is leaning on 
that fellow's arm? 

Luc. Ignoramus ! Because her cousin, the gallant Captain, 
is at this moment deeply engrossed with — 

Doc. With whom? 

Due. Mabel. 

Doc. Standish in love with Mabel ? and she in love with — ? 

Luc. Mr. Lessiug ! exactly ! You have the whole plot at 
your fingers' ends. 

Doc. Where have my eyes been ! 

Luc. In your bottles and pill boxes, of course. 

Doc. Poor Standish. \_Cro8se8 to L.] 

Luc. Poor Mabel. 

Doc. Mrs. Renfrew, you know your steiD-daughter better than 
I do, of course. But if she throws her love away on such a 
creature as Lessing, why — sympathy is thrown away upon her, 
that's all. 

Luc. There are excuses for her — left without a mother — 

Doc. And without a father now — two years. 

Lug. When I married Mr. Renfrew, Mabel was already a 
young lady — her ideas formed, her will his law I did my best. 

Doc. To win her ? 

Luc. No. To govern her ! 

Doc. Humph ! 

Luc. It was useless. And since my widowhood — 

Doc. There has been war. 

Luc. Not open. A slumbering rebellion. 

Doc. You must save the girl. 

Luc. I wish I could. I know that Raymond — I mean Mr. 
Lessing — is infatuated — 

Doc. Never ! the cold-blooded rascal — 

Luc. AVith her money. 

Doc. Ah ! 

Luc. And if he knew that she is penniless — that her father 
died embarrassed — and that all I possessed when I married him 
was settled on me, why — 

Doc. He would jilt her and pay all his court to you. 

Luc. [^Angrily.'] Dr. Gossitt ! 

Dog. \_Hastily.'\ Pardon me, my dear madam — I mean that 
he would be base enough to do it. 

Luc. But Mabel would be saved. 

Doc. So she would. \_Looks around.'] Excuse me — he's 
coming this way. \_Aside, as he is going.'] Standish in love with 



6 PIQUE. 

Mabel. A wilful, wayward beauty ; proud, vain ! but he 
couldn't help it ! such men as Standish love such girls as Mabel. 
The truest love the vainest. Even I feel her fascinations in the 
marrow of my old bones. Nothing but my rheumatism protects 
me. [Exits l. 1 e., Raymond coining fortvard from r.] 

Luc. [Sits R. C, with a slight laugh.'] I think I can safely 
leave the case in the hands of that sagacious old surgeon. He'll 
cut to the quick. 

Raymond, [r.] Alone? 

Luc. [Gaily.'] Unusual, is it not? 

Hay. Where are your hosts of admirers? The whole draw- 
ing-room was at your feet half an hour ago. 

Luc. I have dismissed the court and retreated here for repose. 

Ray. No — to plan how you may rule the world. 

Luc. I have my moments of thought — -as once, three years 
ago, when you met me at Geneva. Have you forgotton the little 
garden over the lake, the book that fell from my lap, and the 
cavalier who restored it ? 

Ray. And was rewarded by [Luc. leans forward eagerly] an 
invitation to your marriage two months after. 

Luc. Capital memory! If you and I had not agreed to 
laugh over your disappointment, I should think you still felt 
revengeful, Raymond. 

Ray. [Coolly.] In your presence, my dear Mrs. Renfrew, 
one can only feel the power of youth and loveliness. 

Luc. [l^] And out of my presence you can feel a very 
tender regard for my step-daughter. 

Ray. [Biting his lip.] Do you really imagine — 

Luc. Do I imagine ? Are you not my protege ? Have I 
not promised to watch over you with maternal solicitude ? Do I 
not call you Raymond — as I would a son — and do you not 
address me with filial respect as — 

Ray. [Aiigrily.] Lucille! [Crosses to L,.] 

Luc. [Laughing heartily.] Oh, fie ! We agreed to forget all 
that little romance. I've been a widow two years. Two years 
is an age for a woman. 

Ray. You know I have been abroad. 

Iaic. So have I — utterly. 

Ray. And when I returned I hastened to your house. _ 

Luc. [Turning her face away, laughing.] To fall in love 
with Mabel. 

Ray. But listen to me ! 

Luc. [l.] No, I won't listen, you foolish fellow — I mean to 
make you happy. But let me whisper one word — you have a 
rival — 



PIQUE, 7 

Ray. [^Superciliously^ I know it. He follows her every- 
where, and gets snubbed for his pains. There he is now [looks off 
L.] standing behind her chair. A sort of sentinel over his own 
hopeless attachment. 

Luc. You feel so confident, then ? [Ray crosses to r., smiles.'] 
Take a friend's advice — lose no time. 

Bay. [Looks at her intently.'] And you actually aid me ? — 
what riddles women are. [Taking her hand.] 

Luc. [ Giving him her hand.] Have I not told you a hundred 
times that I wish to see you perfectly happy. [Seriously.] 

Hay. [Suddenly clasping both her hands in his.] Lucille, 
you— 

Luc. Hush ! Let me go ! 

Sees Thorsby Gyll, xoho enters at that moment, c. l. He is a 
fresh University boy. 

Thorsby. [c] I beg pardon — I was looking for — 

Luc. For me I know! 

Thors. [Aside.] Not a bit of it. [Aloud.] Certainly — oh 
yes. 

Luc. Then take me to the drawing-room. 

Thors. Certainly ! oh, yes ! [Aside.] With the greatest dis- 
pleasure. 

Luc. [Not looking back at Bay., but talking volubly to Thors. as 
they go off, c. r.] The air was so close there — but the conserva- 
tory is so — I havn't had a waltz for an — 

Thors. Certainly — oh, yes ! [Exeunt.] 

Bay. [Looking after them.] If I hadn't met Mabel, I should 
have loved that woman to distraction. But Mabel's beauty, and 
the fortune which all these men are pursuing! the prize is too 
tempting. 

Dymple darts in at the back, c. L., and looks around. He is 
dressed in irreproachable costume ; has red hair standing tip 
straight; young, and ivith embarrassed manner. 

Dympjle. [l., looking round.] He was to meet me here at ten 
precisely. [To Bay.] I say, you havn't seen Mr. Gyll anywhere, 
have you ? , [Familiarly.] 

Bay. [Superciliously.] Mr. — ah — Gyll? No! Don't know 
him. [ Goes up r.] 

Dym. [ Getting round to r.] You don't ? And you've been 
introduced to him five times to my certain knowledge.' I suppose 
you don't know me, neither? 



8 PIQUE. 

Ray. [^Stoj)S and looks back.'] What say? 

Dym. Nothing ! [Ray. saunters off, c. l.] Conceited hum- 
bug. Now those are the fellows that make a man's blood boil. 
Always take a girl's attention away from you when you've done 
your best to get in her good graces. This very night, after I had 
got her all to myself, as I supposed, in a chair /had brought her, 
in a corner to which I had strategically manoeuvred her, with an 
orange ice in her lap I had procured for her, he walks up, elbows 
me on to the edge of the piauo, and whisks her off to his corner 
with my orange ice. I gave Tliorsby the signal agreed upon for 
the exchange of fresh communications of the highest importance 
to our common interests ; he telegraphed me back : " Conserva- 
tory — at ten !" here I am — and — [^looks off] here he is. 

Thorsby entering, out of breath, c. r. 

Thorsby. I came as soon as I could. What's the news ? 

Dym. [l.] The news is, I've discovered another rival for 
Mabel's affections. 

Thors. I know — that navy fellow who gave us the strong 
cigars after dinner — 

Dym. And made us so sick. A plot, I'm convinced. But 
more of him hereafter! No, my dear boy, another still. That 
slim chap who don't know you, though you've been introduced to 
him five times. 

Thors. Eight times. I managed three more after dinner to 
make sure he intended to be personal. 

Dym. I tell you our difficulties increase. It is now three 
days since we came here and fell in love with her. 

Thors. [r.] On the spot — both of us. 

Dym. Yes, both of us on the same spot, for we Avere playing 
an unmanly game of leap frog under the impression that we were 
unobserved, and I was just going over your head when she seemed 
to rise out of the ground behind a clump of fuschias — 

Thors. Dreadfully awkward. But she behaved like a lady. 

Dym. Yes ; she said she liked manly sports. 

Thors. From that moment I fell in love. 

Dym. And fell on me, for I was gone already. 

Thors. And that afternoon we swore to Avin her or die. 

Dyvi. Behind the bath-house. Sacred spot where our friend- 
ship was cemented. [Music] 

Thors. But the next day — 

Dym. The Captain turned up. 

Thors. And Ave Avere turned off. 

Dym. And to-night, this other felloAV ! I never felt so like a 



PIQUE. ' 9 

born murderer {^crosses to R.] as when I saw his sickening atten- 
tions. I tell you what it is, Thorsby, since I was let out — 

Thors. Since you were let out! You talk as if you'd just 
come from jail. 

Dym. I came from worse than jail. 

Thors. Eh? 

Dym. Do you happen to know what a guardian is ? 

Thors. I know what a father is. One who keeps you at col- 
lege as if you were a malefactor and school a treadmill. 

Dym. That's bad enough ! But a guardian ! a fellow ap- 
pointed by will to see that you've no will of your own. 

Thors. But ever since I met you that commencement day 
you've been your own master. 

Dijm. That's three months ago. I was free that very day. 

Thors. [l., sighs.'] With a million of money to do what you 
like with. 

Dyvi. [r.] Hang the million ! If I hadn't a cent, they'd 
have let me alone. But I was doomed from infancy. First I'm 
left an orphan with five hundred thousand dollars, and a guar- 
dian with a bald head. At ten years of age, an uncle dies and 
leaves me another five hundred thousand, with another guardian 
with another bald head, to rivet the chains of slavery upon my 
tender limbs. 

Thors. [Sarcastically.'] Poor fellow ! 

Dym. Just wait. I'm sent to school by order of guardian 
No. 1, and delivered to a pedagogue like a bale of cloth. Then 
I'm sent to college and allowanced by order of the Surrogate ; 
then I'm taken out and put to board by order of the Supreme 
Court, after being claimed, reclaimed, pulled about and jerked 
up before a stiflf, old file with spectacles in a mahogany box — on 
a quarrel between guardian No. 1 and guardian No. 2. Then 
I'm taken to Europe by a tutor, who drinks all the brandy and 
smokes all the cigars he can buy out of the savings on the hotel 
bills. Then after I've been caged, led, driven, chained and 
walked about like a street bear for twenty-one years, I'm brought 
home — a lot of books, boxes, accounts, certificates, orders and 
heaven knows what are stuffed in my hands, and I'm told I'm 
free with a million of dollars I don't know what to do with. 
[Crosses to l.] 

Thors. I'd know what to do with it. 

Dym. Would you ? Just try it. 

Thors. Just try me. 

Dj/m. I never felt what it was to be an orphan till that day. 
I didn't know how to walk or talk or spend my own money. I 
went up to Jericho and I fell among thieves directly. I wanted 



10 ' PIQUE. 

a good Samaritan — I found a dozen, who charged rather steeply 
for the oil they furnished. I wanted a father, and I found a 
score of old reprobates who brought me up to cards. I wanted 
a mother, and had to put up with a landlady. Then by degrees 
I sold myself into slavery — took a valet : a drunken rascal with 
a wife and eight children, who stole my shirts, got drunk, got 
arrested, and gave my name at the station-house, so at least once 
a week I had the gratification of reading in the morning papers 
that I had been severely reprimanded by the magistrate and 
fined ten dollars, which I paid on the spot. 

TJiors. [r.] You mean he paid. 

Dym. No — I paid. He always stole enough out of my pock- 
ets to keep me out of jail. But at last I discharged him and 
my fooleries altogether. Then I met you, and we swore eternal 
friendship. 

Thors. Yes ; and we have agreed to wait until I graduate, 
and then to marry. 

Dym. I know, but we have met our fate, my boy, before you 
graduated. 

Thors. And a sad fate, if these swells cut us out as they do 
with Mabel. 

Dym. Brains must win. We have brains. We will lay them 
at her feet. 

Thors. [ With a sigLI You've got money, besides. 

Dym. Well, your father's worth millions. 

Thors. Yes; but he only allows me fifty dollars a month 
M'hile I'm at college. I can't offer her that. 

Dym. [l.] If she loves you, she'll wait. {^Crosses to r.] 
Look at the disadvantage I struggle under. The reddest hair 
in New York. 

Thors. That's not your fault. She can't blame you for that. 
Why don't you curl it ? 

Dym. I've thought of that. 

Thors. Or cut it oflT close. 

Dym. I've thought of that. But I say, old fellow, if you 
happen to speak to her of me, be as mild as you can on that 
head, won't you ? 

Tfiors. You mean on your head ? 

Dym. Exactly! When you come to the subject of my hair, 
just — just smooth it over. 

Thors. I will. 

Dym. Tell her the capillary adornment don't make the man. 
I'll do as much for you. 

Thors. Thank you, Sammy. I'm not nervous on the subject 
of hair ; but you can do me a service, you know — that is, if the 



PIQUE. 1 1 

subject should hapi^en to come up. Make me out a little older, 
you know. I'm afraid she looks on me as a boy. I wisli I had 
a pair of whiskers. I think women respect whiskers. You 
might hint that I have to shave every morning, or I'd be a 
regular patriarch — eh ? 

Dyvi. [ Grasping his hand.'] I'll do it ! It's a bargain ! As 
we resolved day before yesterday — behind the bath-house — we'll 
win her, Thorsby, or we'll die. 

Thors. She shall be ours ! 

Dr. Gossitt and Standish stroll in. Thoes. and Dym. begin to 
hum and go R., stop suddenly as they see Mary. 

Dym. Hush ! Here's Miss Standish. 
Thors. Pretty girl, eh ? but rather young. 

Mary enters, l. 1 e. 

Dym. Not to be compared to our Mabel. 

3Iary. [Advancing.'] Look at the beautiful bouquet Mabel 
gave me. 

Dym. Beautiful. 

Thors. Did Mabel — I mean did Miss Renfrew give you those. 
Why, Captain Standish gave them to her. 

Doctor. l_lo Standish.] You see ? 

Standish. I gave those flowers to Mabel not half an hour ago. 

Doc. And she gives them to your little cousin. 

Mary. How I should like a stroll on the piazza. The moon 
is so bright. {^Strolling up c] 

Thors. [ Quickly.] I'll take you out. 

Dym. [^Aside to Thors.] Hem ! Mabel might see you — and 
be jealous. Take my advice — don't spoil your chances. Women 
are not to be trifled with. 

Doc. \_Advancing.] Well, what are you boys plotting here ? 
[Thors and Dym. draw themselves up haughtily^ 

Thors. [^Indignant. To Dym.] Boys ! 

Dym. \_To Ihors.] These are the kind of men Avho drive 
their fellow-men to violence. Boys ! [Sees Standish.] There's 
the fellow that gave us the strong cigars. 

Thors. Let's cut ! He might offer them again, and we'd have 
to take 'em. \_Turning away they meet the Doctor, who offers 
cigars. They recoil in alarm.] 

Dym. We'll both go with you, Miss Mary. 

Mary. Thank you. Let me say one word to Cousin Arthur 
first. \_Crosses to Standish; the boys whisper together.] 



12 PIQUE. 

Sian. [r.] Mary, did Mabel give you these flowers. 

Mary. Yes. She says she dislikes flowers, except in the con- 
servatory. But she wears two roses that Raymond Lessing gave 
her. 

Stan. Why do you tell me that ? 

Mary. Are you angry with me? I know I ought not to have 
spoken of it. 

Stan. No — not angry. Run away and enjoy yourself. 

Mary. I don't dislike flowers anywhere, Cousin Arthur. 
May I keep these ? 

Stan. l^Coldly.'] Do as you please. Come, Doctor. \_Strolk 
off, R. 1 E., with Doctor.'] 

Mary. He loves her, I am certain of it. Oh, why did I come 
here! \_Goes up, and is joined by Thors. and Dym. each side.] 

Padder enters c. with tray of empty glasses. Very red in face 
and a trifle unsteady. 

Padder. Beg pardon, sir 

Thors. A tipsy waiter. 

Pad. l^Looks at Tliors. with scorn and tarns to Dym ] Have 
an ice? [JBTic] 

Dym. [r.] By all that's beastly, my old valet. 

Thors. [l.] The fellow that always paid your fines. Treat 
him decently for the sake of old times. 

Dym. How did you come here, you rascal ? 

Pad. [c] New situation, sir ! Got it after you left me, sir ! 

Dym. Without a character? 

Pad. I knew you'd give me one, sir, for the sake of the 
children. So, as I couldn't find you, sir, I wrote out one for 
myself. 

Dym. And signed my name to it ? 

Pad. For the sake of the children, sir. 

Dym. I'll have you kicked out of the house, if you don't leave 
it yourself immediately. 

Pad. Don't distress yourself, sir. I'll go, sir ! I've no doubt 
the children are crying for me now. I'll go, sir ! [^Aside, going 
E.] But if I ever have a chance to pay you ofi", I'll — 

Dym. Well ! 

Pad. Don't be harsh with me, sir, for the sake of the children ! 
\^Exits, R. 1 E.] 

Dym. That's how my misfortunes haunt me. It all comes 
of my being an unprotected orphan. 

Thors. I tell you what it is, Sammy, you don't want a wife 
— you want a mother. 



PIQUE. 1^ 

3fary. Come, gentlemen ! , .,• 1 -j 

Both. Gentlemen ! [Exit, very radiant and smiling, each side 

of Mary, c. l., Dym., trying to offer arm, gets to R. of steps as 

Thors. goes up l.] 

Doctor, re-entering with Standish, r. 1 e. 

Doctor. Does your father know of this ? 

Standish. [Absently.] My father! No! I have not written 
to him. I wished to be certain first. ,.-,-, 

Doc. [l.] You have not told me how long this has been 

^""^Stln!"' [Crosses to J..] How long? I don't know. It seems 
to have been always so. She is my life, and I have no memories 
before my love of her. 

Doe. You have known her only two months. 
iStan. Perhaps. 

Doc. Why, I brought you here. ^ 

Stan. I have to thank you for the greatest happiness and the 
most exquisite pain of my life. ^ ,. , , . 1 ^ 

Doc. I don't deserve any thanks. I did nothing but a 
common social service. You are young, generous and single, i 
thought you ought to have society. The very first home you 
stepped into becomes the abode of your destiny. Its the old 
story A young fellow, fresh from hard service on the ocean, 
sees in the first young girl he meets in civilized life the destroy- 
ing angel of his existence. Bah ! Rubbish ! There are hun- 
dreds more like her. [Crosses to L.] 

Stan. And like me! . , , 

Doc. [l.] No— not so foolish. To follow up a girl who 
turns her back on you and flirts with every handsome puppy. 

Stan. [Turning quickly on him.] I have never seen her do 
anything of the kind. 

Doe. Not seen her turn away from you ? 
Stan [r.] Yes ! but not to— she may not love me, perhaps, 
but she is worthy of my love— of any man's. If sincere devotion, 
if unselfish attention can win her, I may try. [Both sit.] _ 

Doc [l.] Yes, you may try. But she has been bred in a 
false atmosphere. Her father lived half his life in Pans, bhe 
adores foreign life and manners. At the foot of a throne she 
would shine as highly as the rest of its jewels. But in our land 
she is a diamond buckle on a leather shoe. Let her have her 
preferences. Let her dazzle a peer and marry him. We have 
nothing to do with these women. Your father is a man ot 
sterling worth. He rose from the masses. What would he 
think of such a fine lady for a daughter. 



14 PIQUE. 

Sta7i. [Impatiently, rises.'] My heart is my own ! my wife is 
my own. Besides, you wrong my father. He would not fail to 
appreciate the prize I had won. Let me say a last word. You 
have demanded my confidence — take it all. I love Mabel Ren- 
frew. I will suffer all that a man may to obtain her. If I fail 
I will descend to no lesser plane to fill the void she leaves. 
From the first moment I beheld her, I consecrated to her all my 
life. I can love her image, I can be faithful to her memory — no 
matter on whom she bestows the priceless treasure of her hand. 
[ Goes up stage.] 

Doc. I must do it then. I must help him. If she marries 
him she is saved ! but as for him ! Perhaps ! 

Music and laughter outside. Mabel enters c. l. on Raymond's 
arm. Lucille follows shortly after with a gentleman; and 
afterwards Mary with Thorsby and Dymple. Mabel a7id 
Lessing come forward.] 

Mabel. Oh, how delicious ! And there is the doctor ! [She 
releases herself from Ray, and comes to Doc] Deserter ! Your 
post has been vacant all the evening. 

Doc. My post ? Where is that ? 

Mabel, [l. of Doc] At my side. To warn me against all 
my adorers. Come, you have not said a cross word against any- 
body to-night. I want to sit down and be lectured. [^All the 
gentlemen make a movement to bring her a chair. Thors. and 
Dym. take the same chair.] Nobody but the Doctor. I dismiss 
every one. \_Slyly j)7'essing Bay's hand, and in a tender voice.] 
For five minutes ! is that too long ? 

Bay. An age ! [ Goes up with Luc ; Thors. and Dym. scowl 
at him and retire to Mary's side.] 

Mabel. {_iSits c, tq Doc] Now, you delightfully censorious old 
friend ! of whom must I be afraid to-night. 

Doc. Of Arthur Standish ! 

Mabel. [ Coldly.] WKy of Mr. Standish ? 

Doc. \_Close to her.] Because he loves you. 

[Mabel rises, takes a step or two to r. 

Dym. \_Aside to Tho7-s.] Another enemy ! Do you see how 
that old villain is making up to her. Delay is ruinous. I'll 
propose to-night. 

Thors. So will I. 

Dym. Let's get a glass of wine ! I feel faint. [ They hurry 
out, L. 1 E.] 

Mabel, [r., returning to seat.] He loves me. Did he tell 
you so? 



PIQUE. 



15 



Doc. [Seated c] Yes. 

Ifabel [r.] Well, then, your warning is unnecessary. 
There is no need to fear Captain Standish, because there is not 
the slightest chance of my loving him. 

Ray. [071 c. of steps, aside.] What can they be talking 

about ? 

Doc. He has not told me more than you know already, 
Mabel. His admiration of you is open enough. 

Mabel. I know nothing of his admiration and care less. My 
footman may admire me, and the regard of one is as indifferent 
to me as the other. I can't avoid the admiration of the herd. 
It is another thing to encourage it. 

Doe. There would be nothing extraordinary in your marry- 
ing Captain Standish. 

Mabel. You are going too far, Doctor. I will not hear a 
hint of such a thing. 

Doc. He is a gentleman. His father is immensely wealthy. 

Mabel. [Contemptuously :] He began life, I believe, as a fac- 
tory overseer, or something of that kind. 

Doc. And ends it as a benefactor of his kind. He comes of 
the grand, old Puritan stock, and is almost a king in influence in 
his native place. Arthur has the means of gratifying every 
taste — nay, every whim of your fancy. He can buy and sell 
again every fortune that has been offered you. 

Mabel. Buy and sell. The expression, no doubt, is his 
own. 

Doc. No, it is mine. He loves you — and — 

Mabel. Proposes to buy me ? . 

Doc. He cannot purchase your love, and is resolved to win 
it. I spoke of his wealth, because I know that your father left 
you dependent on your step-mother. 

Mabel. [Rises, crosses, in tears.'] Don't speak of poor papa ! 
I beg of you. 

Doc. I am not unkind ; I wish to guide you. 

Mabel. [Drying her eyes.] I thank you very much. What- 
ever my circumstances may b*e, they will not compel me to make 
a marriage for bread and a home. If I must descend, it shall be 
to earn my own living in some other way than by wedding below 
my station in life. 

Doc. There is no such thing as rank in this country, Mabel. 
These are the false notions you gained abroad in your childhood. 
Which would you prefer to live on, the bounty of your step- 
.mother, or — 

Mabel. Or on that of the factory overseer! Neither! 
[Crosses to K.] 



16 PIQUE. 

Doc. \^Aside.'\ I have evidently gone the wrong way to 
work. 

Mabel. I would rather starve as Mabel Renfrew, than owe 
my life to this man. 

Doc. Not if you learned to love him ? 

Mabel. [Indignant.'] I love him? You are dreaming. 

Doc. Mabel! be more like your poor mother — who was all 
gentleness and charity itself If she were here now, she would 
give you the advice I offer. Do not despise the honest love of 
an honest man. [Mabel is moved and takes his hand. Luc. 
comes forward.] 

Lucille, [l.] This must be a sermon. 

Doc. No, it's a prayer, madam. 

Mabel. [Music stojis. Laughing and recovering.] Lucille 
does not appreciate fine distinctions. Doctor. 

Luc. [l., crosses to Doctor.] Oh yes, I do. [^Tahes Doc's 
arm; they go up R. Ray glares furiously at Doc. and comes dotvn 
to MabeVs side, L. Standish, leaving Mary, goes to her also. 
M.AB,Y joins the Doc. and Luc] 

Ray. [l., close to her.] Preaching at an evening party. Did 
he denounce the vanities of wealth and the sinfulness of beauty ? 
How these ugly men always go in for the virtues. \_Sits at her 
feet.] 

Stan. [^Behind, R. of the seat and unaffectedly.] I rather think 
it becomes every man to go in a little for the virtues. 

Mabel. [ With a sudden start and frown, but not looking round, 
then to Bay.] Don't say anything to offend the prejudices of the 
" Grand old Puritan Stock," I beg of you, Mr. Lessing. 

Stan. \^Lea.ning over her chair and gently.] I forgive you for 
that, Miss Renfrew. 

Mabel. [^Suddenly repenting and to him.] Thank you, Captain 
Standish ! I — I ought not to have said it. 

Stan. [ Tenderly.] I knew you did not mean it ; your heart is 
too good, too noble, to wound any one. 

Mabel. [Besenting this attempt at familiarity by giving all her 
attention to Ray., who sits himself at her feet] My heart ! Who 
pretends to read the heart of a young lady at first sight. 

Bay. Man is very presuming, you know. Forgive us. We 
love. 

Mabel. Don't jest about a sacred word. 

Ray. Well, I have no presumption. I am content to wait at 
the portal until the goddess of the temple unfolds the mysteries 
to my eyes. 

Mabel. Are you sure you are content to wait? 

Bay. Unless by a sign — a sigh — or a glance I am encouraged 



PIQUE. 17 

to rush in, throw myself before the shrine, and declare my 
boundless faith. 

Sta7i. \_Smothering his feeling.'] True devotion uses no force. 
The gift of love should be a reward — not a spoil. 

Mabel. [ Coolly ignoring him, and still to Bay.'] And if the 
goddess should remain immovable before your ardor. [ Glancing 
at stand.] 

Ray. Why— I think ! Yes, I think I should station myself 
behind her back and wait until my silent entreaties turned her 
head. [Mabel laughs. Stan, moves away a step, evidently vained.l 
That shot told. ^r J 

Mabel. Is he gone ? 

Bay. Not exactly routed. Retired on his wits, to try a fresh 
attack. 

Doc. [r., coming down to Stan.] No use, Arthur. 

Stan. Is it possible that she can be so heartless, so cruel ? 

Doc. Is it possible you can be such a patient ninny ? Leave 
her to the parrot that amuses her with its chatter. 

Stan. Leave her to the hawk, you mean, that has marked her 
for his prey. That man is a scoundrel. I know his character, 
and I will save her from him. 

Doc. Save yourself. Awake from this dream. She will 
never love you. 

Stan. Perhaps not. Yet at times there is such a softness in her 
look, a tenderness in her voice that I have dared to believe — ! But 
this night shall decide. I will write to her — and if she refuse 
me— heaven bless her. She shall have a life-long friend who 
pities, yet loves her. [^Exits, r. 1 e.] 

Doc. Soft ! soft as cotton wool ! and quite as inflammable. 
"What a change has come over the world. The women are steel, 
and the men are putty. [Exit, r. 1 e.] 

Thors. and Dym. appear at the back, c. l. 

Dym. Now's your chance. Cut him out boldly. I'll stand 
by — if victory don't crown your banners, step aside and I'll — 

Tfiors. Don't be far off. 

Dym. I'll keep my eye on you, 

Thors. How do I look — is my neck-tie straight? 

Dy7n. Perfection ! Don't lead the conversation to hair. 

Thors. I'm not thinking of hair. I've no head for hair, just 
now. IRe comes down boldly, and Dym. darts behind a vase L. 
Mabel is whispering and laughing with Lessing. Mary and 
Luc. have strolled off c] Very pleasant here, Miss Mabel. 



18 PIQUE. 

Mabel. \_Starting, surprised, then to Bay.'] You foolish fellow ! 
When they all begin to dance. 

Bay. I'll meet you here ! [Rises and goes off, c.b.. Thohb. sits 
beside her, on her L.] 

Thors. \_Embarrassed, L. of Mabel.~\ Danced much this evening? 

Mabel. Oh, ever so much. 

Thors. I saw you ! ' I wish — may I have the pleasure of 
dancing with you after supper? 

Mabel. Certainly! \_Taking out tablets.'] What shall I put 
you down for? 

Thors. [ Ve7'y sentimental, sits next to her.] All of them ! 

Mabel. All of them ! Oh you greedy boy ! 

Thors. [Aside.] Boy! [Aloud.] The fact is, Miss Mabel, 
when I see you standing up with anybody else, I can't keep still. 

Mabel. Then you ought to get another partner, at once. 

Thors. [Same business.] There's nobody like you. 

Mabel. What a compliment. Do you have a course of gal- 
lantry at Harvard, Mr. Gyll? 

Thors. I hate Harvard. 

Mabel. And I love it. You know I always go to commence- 
ment and to the boat race. Will you be in the crew, some time? 

Thors. [Starts up to l. a7id back c] I want to leave the old 
place. I'm tired of boats and books, and of being a bo — I 
mean a man has something else to think of. Oh ! Miss Mabel, 
how beautiful you are ! 

Mabel. Why what in the world put that in your head? 

Dym. [Behiiid plants, L.] Head ! It's getting warm. [Bubs 
his hair.] 

Thors. You did! 

Mabel. Then I'm to blame for making you so naughty. You 
should be thinking of your books. 

Thors. [Blurting out the compliment.] So I am. The book 
of beauty ! 

Dym. [Aside.] That's mine! He's stealing all my neat 
points. 

Mabel. [ With mock seriousness] Thorsby ! 

Thors. Yes, Miss Mabel. 

Mabel. [Blayjully.] You wish to make me angry. 

Thors. Oh, no, I don't — Indeed I don't. 

Mabel. Then be sensible. Tell me all about your studies. 

Thors. I can't, I want to tell you something. 

Mabel. No, you do not. 

Thors. Yes, upon my honor — I'm sincere — I lo — 

Mabel. Not another word. 

Thors. [Bises.] Only half a one. Let me finish it. Please 
do. I love you. 



PIQUE. 19 

Mabel. [ Crosses to L. Debating with herself how to treat him, 
then turns.'} Of course you do. 

TJiors. \_TVith joy."} You believe it. Oh, thank you, Miss 
Mabel, and now — 

Mabel. And now let me speak, as I let you. 

Thors. IPleased.'] Yes! 

Mabel. You are ever so good, and I like you very much. 

Thors. Thank you. Miss Mabel. 

Mabel. And because I like you, I'm going to give you some 
good advice. 

Dym. [Behind tree, L. Aside.'] He's dished. 

Mabel. The first thing to remember, is, that you will be des- 
perately in love a dozen times before you know your own mind. 
Now this is your second or third time, isn't it. 

Thors. [ With a groan.] The first. 

Mabel. Well, then, there are eleven more occasions to come. 
The first is over, you see, and no harm done — and — I'll put you 
down for a waltz after supper. [ Crosses to r.] 

Thors. Farewell, Miss Mabel ! 

Mabel. Until eleven! 

Luc. enters to her, c. r. 

Dym. \_Seizing Thors., who is going iqi.] Well ! 

Thors. All is over ! 

Dym. No, it is not. My turn next. 

Thors. Go away! 

Dym. No, I won't, and you shan't go away, neither — I stood 
by you. You just sit down and wait for me. [Thors. drops in 
chair, and buries his face in his hands.] Not that way. Look up ! 
Smile ! We are observed ! 

Lucille. [To Mabel.] Another conquest ! [Sees Dym. buttoning 
up his coat and approaching.] And still they come ! 

Dym. May I crave a moment of your time, Miss Mabel. 

Mabel. With pleasure. 

Luc. [Aside to Mabel.] Shall I send you a partner for the 
valse ? 

Mabel. No, thank you, this will be too nice to lose ! [Luc. 
exits laughing, c. R.] 

Dym. [Aside.] She always laughs at me ! [Aloud to Mabel] 
Scorn is hard to bear. Miss Mabel. 

Mabel. [Advancing c] Very, I should judge. 

Dym. [Slight false start] May I entreat you to walk. 

Mabel. Thank you, it's very pleasant here. 

Dym. The proximity of the maddening throng is unfavorable 
to a serious proposition. Miss Mabel. 



20 PIQUE. 

Mabel. Very. No person of sense would attempt such a 
thing under such circumstances. 

Dijm. Sense! Miss Mabel. Sense and I have long been 
strangers ! 

Mabel. You alarm rae. 

Dym. There are conditions in which life persists in asserting 
itself, while the brain and heart, and other viscera, are con- 
sumed by a devouring passion. 

Mabel. What a pity. 

Dym. [ With effusion.'] Miss Mabel, I know you to be one 
fitted to shine in any sphere. On the throne or in the peasant's 
cot. I cannot offer you either. But someAvhere between the two 
is a home where you would be queen. I know my own defects — 

Mabel. Impossible ! 

Dym. It is useless to enumerate them. The head and front 
of my offending — no, no, I don't mean that — my chief drawback 
[*S/ie looks at his head] is Avant of appearance. But I have the 
confidence — 

Mabel. I perceive you have — 

Dym. To believe that manners, intellect — in short everything 
that is not perceptible at first sight [She looks at him again] — may 
atone for personal appearance. I have spent the greater part of 
the night inditing an epistle which I hope to place in your 
hands. May I entreat the favor of an early perusal, and hope 
that in your next Answers to Correspondents I shall find a reply 
to your ardent and devoted admirer — S. D. [Produces a very 
minute billet doux.] 

Mabel. [Not taking it, and looking saucily at him.] S. D ? 

Dym. S. D. 

Mabel. Well, then— " S. D. Declined— with thanks!" 
[ C^iriseys and goes ttp.] 

Dym. Declined — with thanks ! [Putting it in his pocket and 
buttoning up his coat] Ah ! I presume Crowded out for AVant of 
Space. 

Thors. [l., moodily, and coming down.] Well ! 

Dym. Well ! I see it all. She has no heart. 

Thors. Yes she has. 

Dym. No, she has not. She may have a patent lever with 
half a dozen attachments ticking in her bosom, but she has no 
heart. If she had, my address would have touched her. 

Thors. [Crosses to R.] You're a fool. You don't Avant a 
wife. You want a mother ! 

Dym. [Angrily.] I do, do I ? 

Thors. Yes, and so do I; Ave're both idiots. Here Ave've 
been clasping hands and swearing to Avin or die, and all that, 



PIQUE. 21 

when one of us would be knocked out if the other succeeded. I 
just begin to see the idiocy of the whole thing. You see here's 
the difference between a boat race and a love race. All the 
fellows in the same boat win, but only one of the fellows in love 
comes out ahead. The rest are swamped. 

Dym. [l.] Well, if you got her, I would have been satisfied. 

Thors. Well, if you had got her, I wouldn't. I candidly 
confess it. ' 

Dym. Look here, Thorsby, you haven't got the stuff" for 
Damon and Pythias, you haven't. 

Thors. \_Grasping his hayid.^ No, I haven't. You are the 
squarer fellow of the two, Sammy. I despise myself. I'm going 
back to school again. But I say, old fellow, if you and I ever 
fall in love with the same girl again — 

Dym. Well? 

Thors. I'll step out and leave you to Avalk over. \^Exits, n. 1 e.] 

Dym. Something's wrong somewhere ! All the fellows who 
borrow my money tell me that, with my million, I can marry 
any girl I please. Either she don't know I'm worth a million, 
or the fellows lie, or she's different from the rest of the girls. 
No, they all snub me. Im not intended for a husband. Thorsby's 
right. I don't want a wife — I want a mother. I must hunt up 
a good, amiable old soul and pop the novel question. For the 
situation of son, red hair can't be objectionable. \_Exits, r. 1 e.] 

Lucille, c. r., and Mabel, c. l., pass in at back as the Music 
re-commences. 

Lucille. There's music, dear. A waltz. \_Going.'] 

Mabel, [r.] I'm engaged. I'll wait for my partner here. 

A gentleman enters, offers his arm to Luc, and she goes off as 
Mabel strolls down to seat, c, and Raymond enters, l. 1 e. 

Raymond. \_Softly, and looking about him.'] All alone ! What 
a paradise for a flirtation. 

Mabel. {^Plucking a flower idly and not looking up.] If any- 
thing so insincere as a flirtation entered here it would be para- 
dise lost. 

Bay. Yes, an opportunity lost. It was a cant phrase of 
society I uttered. 

Mabel. \_Low tone.] I am weary of its phrases. I wish I 
could discover if it have a heart. \^Crosses to L.] 

Bay. l^Aside.] If I stay, I'll have to speak out, and it's too 
soon for that. 



22 PIQUE. 

Mabel. How well we play our parts in the comedy of fash- 
ionable life. We laugh and chat together, and pretend we are 
the dearest friends, while — 

Ray. While? 

Mabel. While we are merely neighbors ! and neither of us 
cares a straw for the other. 

Ray. [k., in tender tone.'] Do you think so. If I might 
speak, I could vouch that there is at least Rue whose whole heart, 
whose every hope is centered in — his neighbor. [After a pause, 
his hand steals down to hers ; he takes it ; she looks at it fondly.] 
Am I very presumptuous? Not a word ! [His other hand steals 
'round her waist.] Mabel, is there not one other who cares for 
the happiness of him that addresses her. Say only that you have 
seen my love, that you do not despise it, that you sometimes 
think of me, and that my affection is not unworthy of you. 

Mabel. ITurning to him affectionately.] Oh, Raymond, can 
you doubt it ? 

Ray. \_Draws her to him and kisses her cheek ; an involuntary 
tremor shoots through her frame.] My darling. 

Mabel. Hush, Raymond ! [rising] they will see us. 

Ray. No, no, there is no one near. Mabel, let me once hear 
you say that you return my love. 

Mabel. Yes. Yes. [Struggling to be free.] Let me go. 
Dear Raymond, there is some one coming. [She frees Jiejfself, 
and hurries off, L. 1 E.] 

Doctor enters, k. 1 e. 

Ray. Perhaps 'tis well. Another moment and — 

Doctor. [Assuming a gay air.] Ah ! Mr. Lessing, I have just 
left a very lovely woman, who is anxiously inquiring for you. 

Ray. [l.] Indeed. 

Doc. The beautiful widow ! What a hero you must be to 
conquer our haughty hostess. 

Ray. You are extremely flattering. 

Doc. My dear fellow, I never dose people with flattery. It is 
a species of sugar pill which anyone can detect. No. When I 
contemplated the idea of Lucille Renfrew falling in love with 
you, my mind was lost in visions of your extreme good fortune in 
a double sense. You see you acquire at once everything that 
old Renfrew left behind him — his money, and his lovely widow. 
What a woman — she managed to get the whole estate. 

Ray. [Interested. Hitherto listless.] The whole estate — and 
his daughter ? 

Doc. Absolutely dependent on the step-mother. 



PIQUE. 23 

Ray. Why, she is said to be an heiress in her own right. 

Doc. In her own right she is possessed of a wealth of golden 
hair, sapphire eyes, ruby lips, brow of pearl, coral cheeks, 
and, in short, a golconda of beauty — but as for dimes and 
dollars ! 

Rmj. , Nobody seems to know of this. 

Doc, Ask Mrs. Renfrew. 

Ray. [l., half aside.'\ Impossible ! 

Doc. Then believe me ; or better still — ^go to the Surrogate's 
office and look at his will. No, no, my dear fellow, you will 
have no one to divide with when the widow divides with you. 
It's very kind of all you young fellows to pay Mabel so much 
attention ; but, of course, its all got under a sort of false pre- 
tence, and she couldn't complain i^ when the little imposture is 
discovered — 

Ray. Doctor — you — you embarrass me — you agitate me. I 
mean you grieve me if you suppose I — 

Doe. You — Lord bless you, nobody thinks of you. Your 
attentions to Lucille have been too marked. The whole world 
talks of that. As for Mabel, no one could, would or should 
accuse you of acting any other part than that of an agreeable 
acquaintance. You have no money — she has no money. People 
never put that and that together. It's preposterous. 

Ray. \_Eclgmg q^.] Pray excuse me. I see — 

Doc. You see the fair widow beckoning to you. So do I. 
Go to her, my dear fellow — go and be — [Ray nods nervously and 
exits, c. R.] — punished as you deserve, for a confounded, false 
butterfly son of a grub. 

Mary Standish enters, dressed to go. 

Mary. Have you seen Arthur, Doctor Gossitt ? He told me 
to prepare for our departure. He had only a little note to write 
explaining his sudden resolution.' We are going home to-mor- 
row. To Deerfield. Something has happened. You are his 
friend. Do you know what it is ? 

Doc. [l., looking off and seeing Mabel enter, l. 1 e., mth 
an open note.'] Yes, it's coming this way. \_Up a little with 
3fary.'\ 

Mabel, [l., reading.'] " I love you with all the devotion and 
ai'dor of which man is capable. I beseech you, give me such an 
answer as my sincerity deserves. I cannot return to this house 
nor see you again unless as your accepted suitor. Arthur Stan- 
dish." 

Doc. \_Aside.'] Arthur's letter ! It is easy to see what the 
answer will be. 



24 PIQUE. 

Mabel. Doctor. Look at this. l_Tenders letter.'] 

Doc. I know what it is. 

Mabel. Then you know what folly it is— what madness it is. 
— What right has he to address me in this way ? 

Doc. A man's true love always gives the right to declare it 
and to demand an answer. 

Mabel. [^Crosses to R. About to tear letter — with flashing eye.] 
An answer — this is my — reply. 

Doc. {^Restraining her.] Wait ! wait until to-morrow. 

Mabel. Not an instant. 

Doc. I implore you. Something may happen to prevent 
your treating his honest confession with contempt. 

Mabel. What can happen ? What miracle do you expect ? 

Doc. One of those miracles that happen every hour without 
the stars falling or the earth trembling. Look ! 

He draws her behind a vase of floivers at the R. as Ray and Luc. 
enter, c. L., arm in arm, and pass down L. 

Lucille. Take care, Raymond, there may be some one here. 

Raymond, [l.] You see the place is empty. 

Luc. But Mabel. 

Ray. She has just received a letter, and passed out into the 
library, I think, to read it. 

Luc. She will return. 

Ray. And if she does — why should I draw back? I must 
speak. I must tell you how you have mistaken me. I can't 
bear your continued suggestions that I am in love with her, that 
I— 

Mabel. Ah! \_About to faint] 

Doc. Help ! Mabel ! 

Thors. darts in from r., catches her. Dym. follows. Standish 
enters, l. 1 e., with Mary at c. 

Ray. Mabel ! 

Luc. [l., angrily.] Mabel, what are you doing here ? 

Dijm. [r., beside Thors.] I'll give you a thousand dollars if 
you'll let me take your place. 

Mabel. {By a supreme effort regains her composure and steps 
back, confronting Ray. a7id Luc] I came to find you. I had 
something to say. [Stan, is about to go.] Stay, Mr. Standish. 
This letter of yours — an offer of marriage ! 

Standish. {At her haughty tone, feels that all is over.] I under- 
stand — and I leave Grassmere to-night and forever. 



PIQUE. 25 

Mabel. Not so. Please stay. \_Extending her hand to him 
as she looks at Luc. and Ray.] I accept your offer. There is 
my hand. 

Stan. Mabel ! [ Throwing himself on his knee and seizing her 
hand. Dym. faints in Thors. arm^. The Doc. goes to Mary, 
who tunis aside to stippress her tears.l 

Curtain. 



ACT II. 



Scene. — Old Deerfield. Interior of a large and pleasant sitting- 
room in a New England home. Windows at back open on a 
piazza which is supposed to descend by a flight of steps into a 
garden. Fireplace at L., with oldfashioned and bright log 
fire. Oldfashioned stiff-backed chairs with one or more 
modern sofas and arm-chairs, covered with neat chintz. Table 
near the r., with old-fashioned candle-sticks and candles 
lighted. Sofa above the fire with comfortable pillows. Night. 
Moonlight outside. Raitch is at the fire-place j^olishing 
the brasses. Aunt Dorothy seated c, watching Raitch. 
Music. 

Dorothy. \_A hearty, prim,tidy, old-fashioned dame.'] There! I'm 
sure they look as well and feel as soft as if they were covered 
with satin. I hope she may think so too. 

Raitch. l^On her knees at fire, L., a harum-scarum "help."'] 
And ain't this here a fire to make a regular lady open her eyes ! 
None of your city fires pinched up in a grate like a prisoner be- 
hind the bars. A regular free and independent fire I calls it. 

Dor. [Back of sofa.] A capital fire, Rachel, and when Cap- 
tain Standish's wife warms her pretty feet, she'll surely ask who 
made it! 

Rai. [Squatting.] Will she so, Miss Dorry ! And I can put 
on my best calico to come in when she sends for me, can't I ? 
I'm to wait on her my own self, ain't I ? 

Dor. Of course. 

Rai. It'll be like Sunday all the week through with my new 
frock on. [Rocking herself on the rug, her hands round her knees.] 
I say. Miss Dorry. 



26 PIQUE. 

Dor. [Seated c] Well, Rachel ? 

Bai. She'll be mighty happy here! It's nuttin' time and 
cider time, and qniltin' parties in a'raost every house. 

Dor. Old Deerfield never looked so beautiful. If she loves 
the country she will enjoy this. ^ 

Bai. Lor', Miss Dority, what do city gals know about coun- 
try ! But I can show her everything. How to milk the cows, 
churn butter and make cheese. 

Dor. Yes, if she would like to learn such things. 

Bai. And I can show her where the turkeys eggs is ! I know. 
And then the hens. You know how our hens do hide! I found 
out two new nests way under the barn ! Crept in a'most flat. I'll 
take her there. I wonder if she's afraid of weasels. 

Dor. I'm afraid Arthur's wife wouldn't like to creep under 
the barn, a'most flat, so it doesn't matter. 

Bai. Lor', she can put on one of her common frocks ! I 
dessay she's got lots of frocks made to tumble'around in. 

Dor. Don't be too sure of that. 

Bai. Well, all the city gals has trussos, six dozen o' these and 
six dozen o' those. And there'll be half a dozen or so of com- 
mon clothes to muss in. I'll bet my hair. 

Dor. 'Sh ! Rachel. How often have I told you — 

Bai. Yes, Miss Dorry ! I forgot ! I wasn't to bet anything, 
for nothing. I'm growing too big, ain't I ? 

Dor. Yes, and you're growing too big to sit on the floor, too. 
Come, jump up — there's a good girl. 

Matthew Standish enters upstairs, l. c, with a telegram, lays 
his hat on the rack near door. 

Back from the post-ofiice so soon, brother ? And a letter ? 

Matthew. Telegram. Boyce brought it over. They will be 
here at once. \_Stage R.] 

Bai. [ Crosses to him, jumping up and clapping her ha7ids.'\ 
— oh ! They're coming. I'll run and put on my — [Mat. looks 
at her.l Miss Dority said I could ! 

Dor. Yes, run away with you. [Rai. runs up with Mat's 
coat, tripjnng over it as she goes, and finally hangs it on rack at c. 
passage, L. c] 

Bai. I'm so happy I can't walk. 

Dor. [At fire, L.] Be quick or they'll be here. 

Bai. Oh, I'll be quick, you bet ! 

Dor. Rachel ! 

Bai. I forgot ; but /didn't bet, Miss Dority, I said, "you bet !" 
[Exits up steps, l.] 



PIQUE. 27 

Dor. \^As Mat. sits c. in a reflective mood.'] So Arthur is 
bringing home his wife at last, \_8he stands by his chair.l 

Mat. [Seated c] At last ! [Looks at her.] Have you seen 
Mary this evening ? [Dor. nods.] It's coming close to her now. 
How does she bear it ? 

Dor. Just as she has borne it all along. As if she were going 
to welcome a sister. 

Mat. I havn't been able to look at that girl's face for months 
past. I see her heart — that is enough. [Sighs.] To think that 
you and I planned a match between her and Arthur ever since 
they were children. 

Dor. There's no harm done, brother, we never told either of 
them our plans. 

Mat. That's the harm we have done, sister. If I had spoken 
to Arthur long ago — 

Dor. We thought it over long ago, and made up our minds 
that old folks' wishes warped young folks' wills. No — no — we 
did better — we waited — 

Mat. And while we waited, Mary began to love him. 

Dor. Then it was not for us to speak. If he could not see 
and understand — 

Mat. [Striking arm of his chair with his hand.] See and un- 
derstand. Among a lot of flippery women, bedizined in jewels 
and silks, rustling and dancing in the candle-light like motes in 
a sunbeam ! I tell you I lost him when I let him go into the 
navy — when I let him enter what he calls fashionable houses — 
when I — 

Dor. [l.] When you let him go to college and make friends 
there — 

Mat. No. I would put every laborer on my farm at college 
if I could. Learning makes a man. It's the company, not the 
books, that makes the fool ! 

Dor. You never spoke that way of Arthur before, and now 
he's coming home. You used to be eager and happy when he 
came home. 

Mat. There's more than Arthur coming home this time. 

Dor. His wife, Matthew ! 

Mat. A pretty wife — I'm afraid. 

Dor. Very pretty — so Mary says. 

Mat. What will you say if she turns up her fashionable nose 
at us? 

Dor. Surely you don't expect that ! 

3Iat. I have my fears. What is she ? One of that set who 
live half their lives abroad — in Paris, I believe — because America 
is not good enough for them. If they turn up their noses at 
America, what can ive expect. 



28 PIQUE. 

Dor. I am sure Arthur's letters to us — 

Mat. I have particularly observed that Arthur's letters never 
said a word about his lady wife's temper, or her heart, or her 
sincerity. No. He took delight in filling our ears with her 
beauty — "regal" — "queenly" — "dazzling." Those were the 
words. And her family, "the oldest" — "the most aristocratic." 
And her manners, "the centre of a brilliant circle" — and her 
wit, and her crowds of adorers. Believe me, sister, a son would 
not display such a mass of tawdry stuff before his father's eyes, 
if he had anything more solid to show. 

Dor. He supposed, of course, we would take all the rest for 
granted. 

Mat. Depend upon it, we will have to take all the rest for 
granted, for we'll see none of it. 

Dor. But why talk this way now. What is done can't be 
helped. 

Mat. Aye, what is done can't be helped. But what is not yet 
done must be prevented. \_Rise8, crosses, puts letter on table, re- 
turns to c] 

Dor. I don't understand. 

3Iat. If this pretty and witty and queen-like young lady h^s 
made a slave of Arthur, we must take care that she makes none 
of us. 

Dor. You are not going to make war upon a poor little 
girl. 

Mat. Do I look as if I would ! No. I am going to defend 
myself when a poor little girl makes war upon us. 

Dor. [l.] Well, for the life of me — 

3Iat. Do you expect this fashionable female tyrant to submit 
without a struggle ? Here are no crowds of adorers, no circle of 
wits, no throng of flatterers. Only poor you and poor me to be 
dazzled. We are not to be subdued. In this house for five and 
forty years a single will has been law. 

Dor. [Kmclly to him.'] A good will and a gentle law, bi'other. 
She will not dispute what everybody loves. 

3fat. [ Crosses L.] Let us hope so. But nothing is to be changed 
because she comes, you understand. The hours of rising and re- 
tiring, the hours of liieals, and the family devotions, the order 
which should reign in every household, are for her as well as for 
us all. 

Dor. Mercy ! — and is that all you mean ? 

Mat. That is all. 

Dor. What a fright for nothing. Arthur's Avife will never 
dream of doing what is not agreeable to her husband's father. 

Mat. Don't be too sure — until we see. 



PIQUE. 29 

Dor. Besides, Arthur would never permit his wife to disobey 
you. 

Mat. Arthur is in love according to the new order of things, 
sister. The women rule the world in which she was bred, and 
the men stand in awe of them. Once upon a time the man was 
head of his house. Now he's a fetcher and carrier for the dainty, 
selfish tyrant he calls wife. 

Dor. But Arthur ! 

Mat. Mark my words — Arthur never won Miss Mabel Ren- 
frew until she was sure of his conversion to the new social creed. 
But as for me, I'm a Pagan to these society goddesses. The 
women whom I respect are those who — 

Dor. Hush ! Here is Mary. 

Mat. Mary ! She rounds off the sentence. The women I re- 
spect are such as Mary. If I had had my will Mary would have 
been— [ Crosses E.] 

Dor. Oh, for goodness sake, brother, spare her ! 

Mary entering blithely from steps, crosses to c. 

^ Mary. I have been looking up the road and away over the 
hill, but there's no carriage in sight yet. And now it's quite 
dark and growing colder. Why, Aunt Dorothy, how charming 
you look. That is the wonderful cap, is it? It's the prettiest 
you ever had. Such a dear, good-natured mother, to welcome 
a bride to her home. And Mabel is like me! She just remem- 
bers her mother — and that's all. I'm sure she will love you as 
one. 

Dor. [l. Clasping her to her hosom.'] Oh, Mary! how I wish ! 
— [ Wipes aivay tears.'} 

Mary. I will tell you what I wish, aunt. That the good folks 
would come as quickly as possible. I wish they had come before 
dark. It's a long drive, and she'll be so tired. [ Goes to table e. 
and arranges fioivers.} 

Dor. [l. To Mat.} If she has no repinings, why should you ? 

Mat. [c] Come here, Mary ! I have been talking to your 
aunt. 

Dor. Oh, brother ! [Apprehensively. } 

Mat. [c, smiling.'] Be quiet! She is terrified at my cruelty 
— this poor, browbeaten aunt of yours. 

Marij. [r., advancing.] And to whom are you cruel. Uncle 
Matthew? 

Mat. To vanity and frivolity, my dear. I scent their ap- 
proach from afar, and I have merely said that there is to be no 
allowance made here for affectation. 



30 PIQUE. 

3Iary. Surely, uncle, you are not going to prejudge Cousin 
Arthur's wife. 

Mat. [Coolly.'] No. 

Mary. Nor to seek for grounds of dislike to her. 

Mat. iMildly.'] No. 

Mary. [Her hand on Ins shoulder.'] And above all. Uncle, 
dear Uncle ! You will not close your heart against the woman 
your son brings to your threshold ? 

3Iat. [Moved.] No — a thousand times no. My heart is open 
to receive her — if she be worthy. 

Mary. Your heart must be open to receive her if she were un- 
worthy, uncle. You must shut your eyes and close your ears, 
and see and hear only your son, who says to you — " Father, this 
is my wife!" But she is not unworthy. Nay, she is good, or 
how could she have chosen Arthur from among so many. 

Dor. [l.] That is true, brother, she — 

Mat. Will you be quiet ? 

3fary. She was worshipped almost, in her sphere, but you see 
she was sensible and true-hearted, and turned away from them 
all. She is an angel, uncle. 

Mat. [Kissing her.] You are an angel. 

Mary. No, you have all been too kind to me. But I saw my 
own defects. I could never inspire the love she does. There 
are some girls, uncle, who fill the full measure of man's happi- 
ness by their love — and there are other girls — 

3fat. [r.] Who fill the whole world with love — and you are 
one of them. Tell me how to welcome Arthur's wife, and I'll 
do it your way. 

Mary. [Stepping back a pace.] Eyes shut. 

Mat. [tShutting his eyes.] Yes. 

Mary. Arms open. 

Mat. [Anns open.] Yes. 

Mary. And clasp her to your heart. 

Mat. Yes. [ Clasps Mary, who struggles.] 

Mary. Oh ! 

Mat. [r.] [Sudden revulsion.] I forgot. You are not 
Arthur's wife. [Mary silently turns away and puts handkerchief 
quickly to her eyes.] 

Dor. [Reproachfully.] Brother! [Tenderly to Mary.] My 
own love. 

Mary. [ Conquering her emotion and smiling.] Uncle squeezed 
me so hard. [Goes to mantel.] 



PIQUE. 31 

Music. Carriage wheels heard. Voices of workmen outside: 
" Hurrah ! Hurrah /" " Welcome I Welcome Home /" 
Raitch bounces in in a new frock, partially unbuttoned 
behind. Hair wild, one shoe off. 

Baitch. Hurrah ! They're a'coming. The men are all in the 
road hurraying, and I didn't have time to hook my frock all up 
— and I forgot they were a'coming and not a'going, and I heaved 
my shoe at 'em, and it hit Dandy in the off eye, and he reared 
up on his hind legs. But they're a'coming ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 
[ Gets R.] 

Dor. \_At door, looking off.'] Poor thing, she looks blue with 
cold. There she sits in the carriage, all muffled up. And here's 
— Arthur ! Oh, my dear — dear Arthur ! 

Stan, hurriedly bounding up the steps. 

Standish. Ah ! Aunt Dorothy I [Hurriedly kissing her.] 

Father ! [^Shakes his hand.] Is there a fire in here ? Yes, that's 

right. I couldn't hand Mabel out of the carriage till I knew 

just where to take her. She's half frozen ; the road was wretched. 

[Dor. runs down and exits. Raitch after her down stairs. 

Mat. [Kindly.] Have you found the journey very tedious, 
my son ? [ Crossing and going towards door.] 

Stan. Yes, indeed ! Oh, Mary ! how are you ? [ To Mat.] We 
were jolted over the ground fearfully — my wife is nearly shaken 
to pieces. This place is altogether too much out of the way. 
[Buns down the steps at back. Mary wheels sofa to fire.] 

Mary. She will soon be comfortable here. [ Goes to back of 
sofa and pushes it forward a little.] 

Stan. [ Outside.] Come, Mabel dearest, we are really here at 
last. [Stan, re-enters supporting Mabel, who is enveloped in ele- 
gant wraps.] 

Mabel entering impatiently and withdrawing from his aid — pass- 
ing Mat. at door ivithout recognition. 

Mabel. Thank goodness. Is this the place ? 

Stan. [Behind.] Mabel ! This is iw father ! 

Mabel. [Turns and looks at Mat. iiPsurj)rise.] I beg your 
pardon. I did not see you. I was only thinking of the fire. 
[ Gives him her hand.] 

Mat. I am glad to welcome — 

Stan. [Interrupting arid taking her hand.] The fire ! Yes, 
my poor darling. You must be nearly frozen. This way, 
Mabel. [Installs her at fire.] 



32 PIQUE. 

DoK. enters with more wraps and Rai. follows with bundles, etc. 

Dorothy. [ To Mahel.'\ I'll take these to your room at once, 
dear. {^Exits, r. u. d.] 

Raitch. Shall I take these, too, mum ? 

Mabel. \_Not heeding her.^ I should like to go to my room. 
Is there a fire there ? 

Mai. Better stay here, mum. The chimbley smokes in 
there for a good while arter the fire's lit. This is the comfort- 
ablest. 

Mabel. \_Resigned.'\ Then I'll stay here. Where is Sylvie ? 

Rai. Sylvie ! Is it the little dog, mum ? He's a barkin' like 
all possessed, out on the box. 

Stan. No, no — it's my wife's maid. 

Rai. If you please, mum, I'm to be your maid. Miss Dority 
said so, and I want to be. [ Commencing to blubber.^ 

Mabel. Oh, dear, dear ! 

Stan. Leave the room instantly girl. 

Rai. Yes, sir. \_Drops bundles and begins to wipe her eyes. 
Mary runs to pick bundles wp.] 

Aunt Dor. enters, r. u. d. Sylvie enters c, up stairs, and both 
begin to pick up things. 

Sylvie. [Loftily.'] I'll attend to it, please. 

Rai. Please, may I do something. I'll go for the little 
dog. 

Syl. [^Shocked.] You ? Don't attempt to touch Prince. 

Rai. Does he bite ? 

Mabel. Sylvie, take my things to the room directly. [Sylvie 
sweeps off haughtily and goes to the door Dor. points out to her, 
R. u. D. Dor. then leads Rai. off l., by the arm.] 

Rai. I ain't done nothing, I ain't. 

Stan. [Still by Mabel's side.] Oh, Aunt Dorothy, for good- 
ness sake, send that girl away. My wife's nerves are — [Rai. 
is ejected by Dor.] 

Mabel. There, never mind I dare say I shall soon be used 
to it. 

Dorothy. [Advanciiig, c. Kneels by her side.] I hope she 
hasn't disturbed you. Sfe has been almost wild all day. Perfectly 
useless. How do you feel, my darling, after your journey? 

Mabel. [ Turning to her, kindly.] Somewhat fatigued. Thank 
you. 

Dor. Let me take off your things. 

Stan. No, let me do it, aunt. I — 



PIQUE. 33 

Mabel. Please wait till Sylvie comes ; I won't trouble you. 
[To Dor.'] Thanks, very much, for your kindness; it is so de- 
lightful to meet with such goodness after traveling so far, and all 
that. 

Dor. You must have been frozen. [Kneels by Aer.] Is the 
fire warm ? 

Mabel. Very. It's all very nice. When will the smoke be 
out of my room, please ? 

Dor. That's Rachel's nonsense. I believe she wanted to keep 
you here to look at. [Rises.] 

Mabel. Goodness me — is she a lunatic ? 

Stan. [Back of sofa.] Don't let her come near the house 
again, aunt, if you please. 

Mabel. [Rising.] I'll go to my room at once. 

[Mary is going, r. c. 

Stan. Somebody call Sylvie. Oh, Mary! Stop! Mabel, 
my darling, let me present you to my cousin Mary. 

Mabel. [Looks at her inquiringly.] Your cousin — 

Stan, [c] Yes — little Mary. She's been like a sister to me 
— and she's the pet of the house. 

Mabel. [Kindly.] How sorry I am not to have known you 
before. 

Mary. [Crosses to c] Oh, yes, you did — [Checks her- 
self.] 

Mabel. [Politely.] Did I? Where? 

Mary. I was at Grassmere the very night — 

Stan. [To Mabel.] The very night we were — 

Mabel. [Repressing an emotion.] What a memory I have. 
But we'll begin our acquaintance now. There's no need to go 
back so far. [Tenders her hand — Mary takes it] I've quite for- 
gotten that evening. 

Mary. [r. c] Will you let me show you to your room — it's 
just oft' this. 

Dor. [Back of sofa.] And you can have this for your sitting- 
room, if you like. 

Mabel, [l. c] Thank you, it will be delightful. [To Mary.] 
Is it this way ? 

Mary. [At door.] Through this passage. 

Stan. [As Mabei. passes oid.] Dark as Erebus ! Take care, 
my darling. [Exits after 3fab el. Mahy follows.] 

Dor. I'll go and hurry the girls. [She crosses towards L. 
3Ieets Mat., who has been promenading the piazza, with occasional 
glance inside. He looks at her. She is scared, and makes a slight 
detour round him, watching his eye. He smiles grimly and comes 
down.] 
3 



34 PIQUE. 

Dor. \_As she goes off.'] I hope lie won't Avait to talk to me 
to-night. 

Stan, re-entering, looking off. 

Standish. Ah, father! \_Trouhlecl and anxious^ 

Mai. [Kindly.'] Well, Arthur! » 

Stan. [Suppressing a sigh.] Married at last, you see, father. 

Mat. 1 see. 

Stan. [ 'H^atching his father and trying to appear at ease.] You 
mustn't observe things too closely this evening. Mabel is some- 
what annoyed at her journey — and she's far from well. I'm 
afraid she's not very strong. 

3fat. [Softly.] Ah ! 

Stan. Yes. W.e have been all over Europe — to all the 
famous watering places. Spent two months at Baden and four 
in Italy. But nothing seemed to brighten her up. 

Mat. It is a great pity. She Avas exceedingly lively and 
well — before you were married — was she not ? 

Stan. But these constitutional weaknesses sometimes develop 
themselves — 

Mat. Very unexpectedly! [Pause. Stan, looks round.] 
Come, come ; let us hope that your care and devotion will effect 
a cure. You seem quite devoted to her. 

Stan. [With a sigh.] Yes. I owe her the devotion of my 
life. 

Mat. Well. You are paying the debt bravely. I shall be 
glad to see that she appreciates it. 

Stan. [ Quickly.] I am satisfied. 

Mat. I'm glad of that. 

Stan. I said before, you must not observe her too closely this 
evening. 

3Iat. [Kindly tone, and laying his hand on his son's shoulder.] 
I shall observe no more than you wish me to observe, my son. 

Stan. Oh, there's nothing to hide. 

Mat. Exactly. And as there's nothing to conceal, we'll not 
trouble ourselves to look for it. [Crosses to R.] 

Stan. How oddly you say that. Why, what were you think- 
ing of? 

Mat. Nothing. 

Stan. [Tremidously.] I don't understand you, father. You 
seem strange. Did your father speak to you like this when you 
brought your wife home ? 

Mat. [n.] I did not observe his manner. I was so full of 
joy that I threw my arms around his neck, and never noticed his 
look or his word. 



PIQUE. 35 

Stan. \^ITu7't.'] Is this a reproach to me ? 

Mat. A reproach to you, my son? No ! If you were happy 
enough to embrace anybody, I should be sure of being the one. 

Stan. \_Stage L.] You don't mean that you believe me un- 
happy? [Laughs constrainedly.'] This is nonsense, you know. 
The fact is, my wife's state of health disturbs me. I can't help 
showing that. [ With a burst.l Please don't look at me as if 
you thought me an object of commiseration. [Getting back 
toe.'] 

Hat. The fact is, Arthur, I am not to observe you too closely, 
neither, is it so ? Well, well ! come, take a walk with me. I'm 
going my usual rounds before evening prayer. You remember 
our old habits. [Crosses up to r.] 

Stan. [Heartily.] Yes, and I'm glad to get back to them. 
[Takes his fathers hand.] 

Mat. [Laying both hands on his son's shoulder.] That's 
hearty ! That's worth hearing from you, my son, come — if you 
and your wife love each other — 

Stan. Certainly, father. — I assure you ! But come, it's get- 
ting late. [Goes to door, l. c, and down steps, taking his 
hat] 

Mat. [Solus.] I thought as much. This is a marriage that 
brings no love, nay — kills what love there was. But there's 
more in it than the common blindness of the young. Well, 
well. Time will heal the wound or show its depth. [Exeunt.] 

Dor. /jeeps in from l., looks after Mat. Then comes down, and 
meets Mary, who enters from Mabel's room. 

Dorothy. They have gone for a walk. How is she ? 

3fary. [r.] Ah, aunty, how fair she is — but so pale. I 
looked at her once, and the tears came into my eyes. 

Dor. Mary, how could you ? 

Mary. She stared at me. She must have thought me a little 
fool. [Sinks into chair, c] 

Dor. Control yourself better, Mary. [Mary looks doivn.] 
Don't think I've seen nothing, Mary. I know your heart. 
[Mary sinks in chair and covers her face with her hands.] Oh, 
dear, dear, don't Mary. What would become of us if this young 
lady were to think such feelings existed here — in her own house 
that is to be — 

3fary. [Starti7ig.] Do you think I would be so base ? 

Dor. No, but I knoAV your secret. 

Mary. [Rises quickly and proudly.] I have no secret ! [Softer 
and laying her hand on Dor's arm.] Not now. [Slowly.] That 



36 PIQUE. 

is all over. And if it had not been for her calm and searching 
look, I would not have remembered even. But there are some 
women whom you cannot deceive, and she is one of them. So I 
looked back into her eyes and she gave me her hand. We are 
friends. 

Dor. Thank heaven for that. 

Mary. [ Crosses to L.] I will make her happy, if the help I 
get from There can give peace to other hearts as well as mine. 

Dor. She is coming. [^After dosing windows and doors, she 
exits, R.] 

Mabel enters in evening-dress, soft and flowing. 

Mary. [Running to Mabel.^ Will you take your seat by the 
fire? 

Mabel. [Sitting c] It is warm enough here. 

Mary. [Sitting on stool at her side.^ You look pale and tired, 
are you sure you are not ill ? Perhaps you ought to have gone 
to bed at once. 

Mabel. Thank you, I'm very well as I am. You must not be 
surprised to see me pale. I am not ill. It seems as if I could 
not be. 

Mary. You say that as if it were a misfortune to enjoy good 
health. 

Mabel. People's ideas differ as to what is misfortune. But 
don't let us speak of myself — it is the one topic that interests me 
less than anything in the world. 

Mary. I see you are low-spirited. Are you fond of the 
country ? 

Mabel. I can't say that I am. 

Mary. Oh ! Isn't Cousin Arthur sorry for that? 

Mabel. I don't know — I never asked him. 

Mary. Because this is to be his home, you know. 

Mabel. Indeed ! 

Mary. Of course, that is, of course — if you like it. 

Mabel. I am satisfied with anything. 

Mary. How strangely you say that ! 

Mabel. [Peevishly — changing position.'] What do you do 
with yourselves here all day long. Is there no other house near? 
— no neighbors ? 

Mary. Down in the village, there are a great many nice 
people. This is the richest manufacturing district in the State. 

Mabel. [Leans back as if overcome.] How pleasant. 

Mary. Cousin Arthur will take care of the factory now, I 
suppose. Uncle always said he should give it to him when he 
married. 



PIQUE. 



37 



3IabeL [Quickly.'] Does he intend to resign from his ship ? 

Mary. [Surprised.'] Why havn't you and he talked over his 
future plans? . ' . 

3IabeL No. [Looks at her, then smiles.] I'm afraid I begin 
to tire you. Do you sit up very late here? 

3fary. Why it's not ten yet. 

3Iabel. No. 

Mary. And we never go to bed 'till after prayers. We have 
our family devotions in the good old Avay. Uncle has made it a 
rule, as his father did before him. All the household gather in 
the parlor at ten o'clock. 

Mabel. [ With a slight yawn.] Indeed. 

Mary. Didn't Cousin Arthur tell you all about his home? 

Mabel. I don't recollect. I think Captain Standish never 
spoke much about it. [Arises R.] 

Mary. [Rises, aside J^ Captain Standish ! How strange that 
she calls him by that name. And she takes no interest in any- 
thing. Perhaps she doesn't like me. 

Mabel. [ Who has calmly watched her.] Yes I do. 

Mary. [Confused.] Yes you do — what? 

3fabel. I take great interest in all you tell me— because you 

tell it. ^.11 

Mary. [Laughing.] You are a witch! I was afraid that 
poor little I — who wish so much to love you and be loved by 
you — will not succeed in either. 

Mabel. [Leans over and kisses her forehead.] You wish me 
to love you. 

3fary. Oh, yes ! 

Mabel. And that will make up for — 

Mary. [ Uneasily.] For what ? 

Mabel. For what your woman's nature needs! Don't start. 
Listen to me. There is a void in our hearts which we try to fill 
with friendships — resignations— duty— and all the rest! It is 
impossible! They sink in it as in a gulf. It is still empty- 
cold— and dark. There is but one way— cover it— with indiffer- 
ence and contempt. 

3fary. [Terrified.] Oh, Mabel, you are mistaken— you do 
not know me. 

Jfabel. [ Withdrawing her clasp.] I know myself! 

Mary. [Alarmed] Are you speaking of yourself ? 

Mabel. [Calmly.] Hark! There are footsteps. They are 
coming back. I don't wish to keep you any longer. [ Crosses to 
fire.] 

3fary. [Crossing R., aside.] What a dreadful suspicion her 
words create in my mind. What is coming to this house in 
place of the happiness I dreamed of. 



38 PIQUE. 

Raitch, j)tMing her head in the door, L. 

Raitch. Pst! [^Both women turn. Raitch viakes signs to 
Marij.l I say — 

Mabel. What does she want? 

Mai. \_Enterlng.~\ I want to wait on you, mum — please. 

Mabel. \^Atfire.'\ I don't need you, my good girl. 

Rai. I see how it is. They've been telling you I wasn't fit for 
nothing. Now I know you'll find me handy, mum! 

Mabel. Yes, yes — to-morrow. 

Rai. Don't never pile anything on to to-morrow what you can 
square off to-day. That's the copy book and its prime sense too ; 
you bet. I've got to make a beginnin'. I want to unhook you 
to-night — then you can see how handy I am. 

Mary, [r.] Rachel you must not intrude. 

Rai. Who ever heerd of a waitin' maid intruding. Other 
folks intrudes where a waitin' maid is by rights. \_Coaxingly.'\ 
Ah, do take me on to-night, mum. I'm ambitious, I am — besides 
I was promised. 

Mabel. But my good girl I have Sylvie, who is my maid. 

Rai. Be you agoin' to keep her on, the whole time? 

Mabel. Certainly. 

Rai. [Slapping her hands.'] Then its a do! that's what it is. 
It's a regular do. You was promised to me. Miss Dorrity prom- 
ised me. I don't blame you, mum — nor you. Miss Mary! I 
blames them as promised. 

Mary. Go to bed, Rachel. 

Rai. I won't. [Stavxping.'] 

Mary. You shall wait on me. 

Rai. You ain't a bride. I was promised the bride. I made 
the fire for the bride to-day on my knees and I blew it till I 
thought I should a busted. Kin your gal make a fire like that. 
No sir-ee. 

Mabel. Did you really make the fire? 

Rai. Yes, mum, I did. 

Mabel. It's a glorious fire. You shall come in every morning 
and make my fire. 

Mary. [Relieved.] Thank goodness. 

Rai. Shall I, mum? That'll do, mum. The fires is mine, is 
they? That's something. Don't let that city gal dare to touch 
my fires. 

Mabel. Are you satisfied? 

Rai. Yes, mum — because [Cunningly] fires must be kept 
up, and I'm to come right in to you any time to keep up the fires, 
ain't I ? of course. Thankee, mum. Oh, I'll keep the fires red 



PIQUE. 39 

hot, and if that city gal meddles, I'll make it red hot for her. 
[^Exits L., upstairs.'] 

Mabel. \_Rlses, to Mary.'] She looked so distressed I had to 
use a little diplomacy. 

Mary. [ Going to her.] You have a kind heart, Mabel. Let 
me call you Mabel. 

Mabel. Certainly. \_They hiss.] Good-night. 

Mary. Good-night. \_Going.] If I could do good to her and 
him. \_Exits at R., 1 E.] 

Mabel. [ Getting to fire.] It is easy to read her secret. Why 
did this man pass her by to come to me ? 

Sylvie entering with books. 

Sylvie. [r.] Will you sit here, madam ? 

Mabel. Yes. [Syl. lays the books on table, R.] 

iSyl. Shall I put out the lights beside you ? 

Mabel. Yes — all but one. Lock the doors. 

Syl. [^At back.] These don't fasten, madam. 

Mabel. Never mind. Is that the door which leads to the 
parlor. \_Poi7iting where Mary went off, r. 1 E.] 

Syl. Yes, madam. 

Mabel. Go. I'll call you when I want you. [Syl. exits, R. 1 
E.] So this is my home. \^All is dark, only the solitary candle 
hu'ining. Fire bright inside. Moonlight outside^ Here my part 
is to be played to the end, with all these eyes upon me. His 
father — and the others. Jealousy and love watching every ges- 
ture and weighing every word. It was easy enough among 
strangers. But these people know what I should be. There has 
been an honest, homely, loving wife in this house. She is not for- 
gotten. How long will it be before they detect the counterfeit? 
Why did I come back ? There were means enough abroad, heaven 
knows, to end the wretched comedy and drop the curtain forever 
on my pitiful story. But I have been looking for what is impos- 
sible : some power to undo the fatal mistake I have made. Tied 
hand and foot ! bound to slavery ! linked with my own self-con- 
tempt ! Oh, God, if I could die — could die ! \_Drops her head 
on her arms on arm of chair, c] 

Music. The window opens and Ragmoney Jim with Padder 

look in. 

Jim. No one here ! 
Padder. Gone to bed ! 

Jim. No ; we saw the old 'uu and the young 'un go up by 
the creek. 



40 PIQUE. 

Pad. The women folks are all in the parlor. 

Jim. And nobody to look arter the trunks. How careless. 
That's the way places gets robbed. Yonder's the Avay to her 
room — and nobody's there, neither. 

Pad. I seed her jewels laying on the bureau as I looked 
through the window. 

Jim. That's all we want. Step softly. Old boards creak. 

Pad. I'm gossamer ! [^They come forward. As i hey approach 
her chair, Mabel starts — looks up — they look at her — she starts up. 
Pause. Pad. and Jim. look at each other ; they take off their hats 
and adopt humble manner.^ 

Jim. We didn't think any one was here, Miss, or we would 
a' knocked. 

Mabel. Who are you ? 

Jim. A couple of miserable, starving creeters. 

Mabel, [l.] What do you want ? 

Jivi. Only a little assistance. Miss — charity — Miss — that's 
all. 

Mabel. \_Looks around, sees window open.'] You entered by 
the window — you are robbers ! 

Jim. \_Fiercely.'] Robbers ? 

Mabel. \_Orosses to R. Suddenly running to parlor door.] 
Help ! Help ! 

Jim. Hush ! hush ! The devil ! 

Enter from upstairs Mat. and Stan. From parlor, Mary, 
Aunt Dor. and Syl., r. 1 e. 

Mattheiv. [l.] What is this ? 

Sta7idish. [To Pad. and Jhn.] Who are you ? [Mary and 
Dor. go to Mabel, who is angry and agitated.] 

Jim. Only poor, starving wretches, sir, begging for bread. 

McCbel. \_Faintly.] They are thieves ! 

3fat. [Cahnly.] Did they try to rob you. 

Mabel. They entered by the window. 

Jiin. [r. c, advancing to Mat] All the windows is doors on 
the piazzy, sir. Ask the lady if we didn't tell her we came to 
beg. Ask her if we didn't take off our hats and say we was 
starving. 

Mat. [To Mabel] You were a little nervous,, my dear. 
There are many poor creatures like these wandering through the 
country. If we treated them like robbers, it would be punishing 
the distress we ought to relieve. 

Jim. [ Wlieedling tone.] That's it, sir ! Oh, if there was only 
more like you, sir, the jails would soon be empty, they Avould. 



1 PIQUE. 41 

Mabel. But these creatures' manner — their stealthy entrance 
— their — [ Crosses to L.] 

Mat. Pray be calm, my dear. Your nerves are a little more 
sensitive than ours. We are not quick to impute crime to rags. 
Arthur, speak to your wife, while I deal with these men. 

Mabel. [To Stan., low and haughtily.'] Does your father 
assume this tone because he wishes to display his indifference to 
my feelings. 

Stan, [l.] Do not judge him harshly. He is a just man — a 
magistrate — and a merciful one. 

Mat. [ To tramps.] You are starving, you say ? 

Jim. Havn't tasted a morsel since yesterday, sir. Traveled 
all the way from Hamden on foot. 

Dor. And good feet they are to travel on. What whoppers ! 

Mat. You shall be fed and lodged, to-night. No one leaves 
my house hungry or footsore. And if you need work — 

Jim. Been out o' work for six months, sir. 

Mat. The times are hard, I know. [Calling.'] Rachel! 
I'll find you employment, to-morrow. Rachel! {^She enters, 
L. D.] Rachel, take these men to the kitchen. 

Raitch. All right, sir. l_At the sound of her voice, Jim and 
Pad. look at her — seem to recognize her.] 

Pad. \_Aside to Jim.] What luck! Sally! 

Jim. Fools' luck ! Dropped right on to us. 

Mat. Follow that girl. 

Pad and Jiv^. \_Cro:<sing up to Eaitch.] Thankee, sir. 

Pad. I say, he'll find us work to-morrow. 

Jim. Yes, if he finds us to-morrow. 

Pad. Mizzle's the word. \_Turns to go.] 

Jim. The blessing of the hungry upon you, sir. \_Exits with 
Pad., looking searchingly at Rai. as they pass — she exits, L. d., 
after the^n.] 

Mat. It is late ! Come, my children. Arthur, will you 
bring your wife. [ Ooes into parlor, R. 1 E.] 

Mabel. Where? 

Mary. [ To her, softly.] For prayers. You remember I told 
you : every evening at ten ; but they won't take long. 

Mabel. \_Calmly.] It is a matter of perfect indiflference to 
me whether they take one hour or ten, for I am going to bed. 
Good-night. 

Mary. Oh, do stay. Uncle will be so vexed. 

Stan, [l.] Mabel, my dear. 

Mabel. Am I not to do as I please in such a matter ? What 
tyranny is this ? Captain Standish, will you give me a candle, 
if I rdust go alone. \_He gives her one.] 



42 PIQUE. 

Mat. re-enters, r. 1 e. 

Matthew. Where are you going, daughter ? 

Mabel. To my room. [^Tarmng away, up stage.'] 

Mat. But we are about going to prayers. 

Mabel. I know it, thank you ; but I have no desire to be 
present. Good-night. 

Mat. [ Genthj, but firmly takes the candle-stick from her hand.] 
My dear, I don't think the rules of this house are very hard 
rules— but such as they are, they must be complied with. 
Nothing but sickness can justify absence from family devotions. 
I cannot compel you to serve heaven from your heart, but Avhile 
you are here, you must keep up the appearance of doing so. 
Stay with your husband, like a good girl. We shall not detain 
you long. [Exits r., ivith Dor., Mary and Rai., r. 1 e.] 

Mabel. Did you understand what treatment I was to receive 
at the hands of your fjither, when you brought me here ? 

Stan. I did not. I will have an explanation with him, to- 
morrow. 

Mabel. You need have no explanation. I leave this house in 
the morning. 

Stan. [ Goes to parlor door quickly and closes it.] I beg you 
not to rnake a rash resolution. I cannot devise a pretext that 
will satisfy those who Avill be hurt and astonished at our sudden 
departure. 

Mabel. Our departure! I can go alone! Let the blame 
rest on me. 

Stan. There is no blame which I shall not have to share. 
In that we are one indeed — if in all else, heaven help us, we 
must be divided. But our compact was that in all things we 
should keep up an appearance of concord before the world. 

Mabel. I release you — indeed, it was always a matter of in- 
difference to me. Stay with your people ; they are not mine, 
and I shall not regard their opinion. \Stage L.] 

Stan. I beseech you, Mabel — for the sake of what I have 
suffered already- ^o think better of this ! 

Mabel. You suffered ? You ? 

Stan. I — I was guilty of no crime except that of blindly 
loving you. I have endured every slight which the coldness ()f 
an unloving heart could put upon me. In this instance it is not 
my affection, but my honor you treat with contempt. You will 
not dare do that. 

Mabel. Not dare ? 

Stan. Not dare ! Mabel— I thought better of you. \_Crosses 

to R.] 



PIQUE. 



43 



3fabel Who told you to think better of me ? What in my • 
conduct has led you to think that for your sake I will suffer the 
tyranny of this house. [ Up.^ 

Stan. Nothing— heaven knows. From the day we were wed 
till now, you have tortured me by an indifference no man ever 
endured from a wife. But your duty — 

Mabel. Duty! Is it not enough that I married you as I 
promised ? That I kept my pledge given in a moment _ of 
wounded pride and girlish resentment, that I have lived with 
you — goue where you led me — worn the mask of deceit you 
shaped for me— without you forcing on me the duty of obeying 
the whims of this old man. 

Stan. Have a care, Mabel. I am in no mood to trifle. Your 
actions to-night have told the miserable truth to him and to 
all who love me. 

Mabel. To all who love you, indeed— and hate me. [ Up l.] 

Stan. It is false. 

3iabel. It is true— for I deserve their hatred ! Do you sup- 
pose I cannot understand that they wonder at a marriage to 
which no love was brought on my side ? 

Stan. I will not believe it. 

Mabel. You will not? Recall the history of that night. 
But a moment before you knelt at my feet an accepted suitor, 
I had avoided you. Yes— shunned you ! but a moment before. I 
had laughed in your face — and yet in that one moment I mas- 
tered this aversion — this contempt — and said to you : I will be 
your wife. And you tell me that you believed I loved you ! 

Stan. I was mad enough then— to believe anything. [ Crosses 

to L.] 

3Iabel. [r.] When we stood side by side to be married, you 
saw that I neither smiled— nor wept — nor spoke. Already I 
contemned — I hated myself! then you began to understand — 

Stan, [l.] That you did not love me ! But I asked for no 
reason — I spared you — 

Mabel. Fott spared me ! You led me to this living death,- 
exulting in the miserable chance that satisfied your pride and 
your passion ! You spared me! You! ITtmis from him up, 
round c] 

Stan. What should I have done ? 

Mabel. The duty of a man who loves without selfishness: 
exacted the truth and saved me ! 

Stan. The truth ! What truth ? 

3fabel. That truth which all the world saw— that I gave my- 
self to you because I had lost all in the world I had to live for— 
love ! [l.] 



44 PIQUE. 

Stan. Love ! whose love ? Mabel, have you waited till now 
to tell me that you loved another ? 

Mahel. Have you waited till now to ask me? Yes — I did 
love another. I thought that he deceived me. My heart was 
broken. \^Turn8 aivay. He catches her hand.^ 

Stan. . Mabel, who was this man ? 

Mahel. I Vvill not answer you. 

Stan. His name ! You have but to speak his name, and you 
are free. 

Mabel. You know him. 

Stan. His name ! 

Mahel. Raymond Lessing ! 

Stan. You loved him ! You love him still ! [Mabel 
flings herself sohhing on the c/tair.] And because you could not 
marry him, you married me ! 

Mahel. \_St\ing and rising.'] Yes ! If you will have the 
truth — that is the truth. 

Mat. appears at the door, r. 

Stan. [Casting her from him.'] Miserable woman ! You have 
no need to leave this house — I give you your freedom and your 
self-contempt. What we have been to each other, let heaven, in 
its mercy, keep an eternal secret. What we shall be henceforth, 
let the world know and mock at. Farewell, for ever ! [Rushes 
out, down stairs. Music] 

Mahel. Arthur ! \_Makes a step, sees Mat., who advances after 
Stan., and draws herself %ip, leaning against hack of sofa for 
support in her pride. Mat. hars her progress, thinking she intended 
to follow Stan.] 

Curtain. 



PIQUE. 



45 



ACT III. 

Scene. — Same as last 
Dr. Gossitt enters ivith Dymple, upstairs, l. c. Music. 

Doctor. Unannounced and unheralded so far— but, I hope 
not unseen. 

Dymple. [Looks off l.] Evidently not. For yonder stands 
a maiden of a particularly curious, not to say gimletty, eye, who 
watches our movements. 

Doc. Call her. 

Dym. [Raises his finger and crooks it] She smiles and rolls 
down her sleeves preparatory to leaving her dishes and waiting 
on us. 

Doc. What's become of Thorsby ? 

Dyyn. [Looking off, c. R.] He's at the gate, and apparently 
rooted to the spot. 

Doc. Bashful as ever. 

Dym. His eyes are fixed with a steadfast gaze on vacancy. 
By jove ! No ! I beg her pardon— on another young woman- 
over there by the maples. 

Doc. Also possessed of a gimletty eye? 

Dym. She looks up! Gimletty! The softest— largest— dark- 
est— loveliest eye— I ever saw. No wonder he can't come m. 
Who can she be ? I say— you don't want me here. 

Doc. [Catching his coat.'] Combustible and inflammatory 
youth, I forbid you to stir. We are going to see a pair of eyes 
as dark and soft and lovely as any in the world. 

Dym. [Still looking off.] Who can she be ? 

Doc. [Coming doivn.] Who? Why, Mrs. Captain Stand- 
ish ! The lovely Mabel Renfrew. Have you forgotten your old 
flame so soon ? Yours and Thorsby's ? 

Dym. He's making up to her. 

Doc. [Astonished.] The deuce he is. She's married. 
Dym. [Coming down to Doc] Is she? What's her name ? 
Doc. Eh ? What is Mabel Standish's name ? 
Dym. Oh! I beg your pardon. It's a mistake. I was 
thinking — 



46 PIQUE. 

Doc. Where are your Avits ? 

Dym. As usual — hunting in couples with Thorsby's — after a 
pretty face. 

Rai. enters, l., wiping her arms with her apron. 

Maitch. [c] Please sir, who was yer wantin' ? 

Doc. Mrs. Standish, my good girl ; is she at home ? 

Bai. Yes, sir. 

Doc. Give her my card. [ Gives card."] 

Rai. Cau't, she's gone out. 

Doc. Then she's not at home ? 

Bai. Yes, she is ! I guess I know. But her and the baby 
and old Miss Dorothy's out for a walk. 

Doc. Exactly so. I should like to see her. 

Bai. Kin you wait ? 

Doc. Certainly, with pleasure. 

Bai. Well, then, she'll be along before much. They don't 
go fur. Old master won't allow that. 

Doc. [Aside.^ So, so. \_Stage R.] 

Bai. \_After looking at Dym — to Doc] Son ? [Jerks her 
head to indicate Dym^ 

Doc. Eh ? 

Bai. [Same play.'] Son ? [Arms akimbo.] 

Doc. No, my child ; he's not my son. 

Bai. Nevvy ? 

Doc. Nor my nephew. 

Bai. He don't look like you ! What's he looking at ? [To 
Dym.] I say. Mister, is it a woodchuck ? Lots o' them here. 

Dym. A woodchuck ? No, a wood nymph. 

Bai. Shall I fetch the gun ? Old master is down on all them 
animiles. He'll thank you for poppin' it over. 

Dym. Thorsby's talking to her. 

Bai. [At fire.] Talking's no use. Them critters won't come 
down for soft words. 

Dym. I hope not in this case. Look there ! Would you go 
gunning for such a lovely specimen of the animal creation as 
that? 

Bai. Why it's Miss Mary ! 

Dym. Miss Mary ? Who ? Avhat ! Miss — the Captain's 
cousin. What a fool I am. Excuse me, Doctor, just a moment. 
Thorsby's walking oft' with her. Hol-lo ! I can't stand that. 
[Buns Old.] 

Doc. Here, I say. Stop ! You combustible institution. 

Bai. No use. Mister. He's oft". I say, do all your city gents 
carr-" on like that ? You're from the city, ain't vou ? 



PIQUE. 47 

Doc. {^Sitting R.] The expression city and country are merely 
relative terms, my child. Do you ask for information. 

Rai. [Befiectively.'] I ain't got no relatives there as I want 
information about. Be you a friend of Miss Mabel's ? 

Doc. She is such a general favorite that the question must on 
second thoughts seem to you wholly superfluous. 

Rai. [^Suspiciously.^ I don't understand. 

Doc. Then your comprehension does not equal your curiosity, 
my child. 

Rai. [Keenly.'] I begin to see it — I does. 

Doc. Do you ! 

Rai. [Drawing herself wp with firmness.'] We don't want no 
books, Mister — nor maps — nor sewing machines — nor fly traps — 
nor patent churns — nor guns! we don't — 

Doe. What does the girl mean. 

Rai. We takes the Weekly Tribune, and that's enough for the 
whole family. We don't want the Ledger, nor the Weekly, and 
we don't subscribe to nothin'. You're wastiu' your time. 

Doc. Does she take me for a book peddler ? 

Rai. You're wastin' your time, I tell you. We ain't in want 
of horse liniment, nor hair-pins — 

Doc. My good girl, I'm a doctor. 

Rai. A doctor ! wuss and wuss ! If master catches you here 
he'll break your nasty bottles over your head — 

Doc. But, my dear — 
' Rai. [Sits on arm of chair.] Are we out o' spirits o' harts- 
horne and Blood Purifier and Instant Relief and Sand's Sassy- 
parilly and Mrs. Winslow's snoozing syrup ? — Yes, we are, and 
we mean to stay out of 'em. Take my advice and git. 

Doc. Allow me ! — 

Rai. What, you won't go ? You will wait and see old mas- 
ter !^ Very well ! But if he calls the dog on ye, don't blame me. 
Aside.] I guess I'm square with him now ! curiosity, indeed. 
Exits L. door, 1 e.] 

Doc. Confound the minx! [Calling after her.] Do I look 
like a patent medicine peddler ? 



Matthew entering at r. doa 



Matthew. I don't know, my dear sir. Those invaders of do- 
mestic peace assume all sorts of shapes. 

Doc. [l., confused.] I beg your pardon. I was addressing 
that impertinent little baggage. 

_ Mat. Rachel ! Yes, she assumes the duty of receiving and 
dismissing all itinerant vendors ! 



48 PIQUE. 

Doe. Allow me to introduce myself — Doctor Gossitt, of New 
York. 

Mat. I am Matthew Standisli. Pray be seated. 

Doc. Mabel's father-in-law ! This is fortunate. [Shakes hands 
ivith Awn.] 

3Iat. iDryly.'\ Perhaps! We don't discuss it. 

Doc. [They sit.'] I've heard of you very often, Mr. Standish 
— from your son. 

3fat. [l. c, qicickly.] Do you know where he is ? 

Doc. [r. c] No. Don't you ? 

3fat. I do not. 

Doe. He has not written to you ? 

Mat. Yes — once ! soon after he went away — 

Doc. A sad case, this, Mr. Standish ! 

3Iat. It is only what might have been expected. 

Doc. I can't dispute it. I had my apprehensions long ago. 

Mat. You were acquainted with my son's wife, then, before 
her marriage ? 

Doe. Yes, and with your son. The blame is not altogether 
on one side. His excuse was his blind infatuation. 

Mat. I believe she cannot pretend to any such apology. 

Doc. Well, well. It's over. The inevitable has occurred. 
They have separated. Let us wait for time to re-unite them. 

Mat. You are exceedingly hopeful, Doctor. 

Doe. Good heavens, sir ! they have a child. I hope every- 
thing from that. He cannot desert the mother of his child. 

Mat. If you had heard her talk to the father of her child as 
Idid— 

Doe. Pish ! [Bises.] A girl's temper and a girl's tongue. 
Two ungovernable things. 

Mat. Very. [Eises.'] 

Doc. Let misfortune threaten her, and his love will revive. 

Mat. Exactly. But what is there to revive her love ? which, 
as an Irishman would say, never existed. 

Doc. This is no jesting matter, Mr. Standish. 

3Iat. Excuse me — it is a very excellent jest. To deceive an 
honest man into the belief that she loved him. To marry him — 
from pique ! and then drive him from her when his society be- 
comes distasteful. A capital jest, sir, in the cultivated circles 
from which my son chose to take a wife. 

Doc. [Impatiently.] My dear sir. I beg you won't fall into 
the vulgar error of believing that people of superior station hold 
common virtues in no esteem. 

Mat. Oh, no. I only conform to the aristocratic view, which 
holds love, marriage and duty subordinate to pride. 



PIQUE. 49 

Doc. You misjudge this young lady. 

Mat. I do not — and I never did ! 

Doc. Yes, you do ! Excuse my warmth. I knew her from a 
baby. I knew her father— a man who would not hurt the feel- 
ings of a beggar. I knew her mother — an angel on earth, and 
long since one in heaven. 

Mat. Do not excuse yourself. Doctor. I recognize your right 
to take this young lady's part. You will never offend me by 
that, she is very well able to take her own — and she does not 
offend me by doing so, neither. 

Doc. [r.] Then, why in the name of all that's irritating, is 
she treated as she is ? 

Mat. Treated as she is? What, in the name of all that's 
wonderful, is the treatment you speak of? 

Doc. I have received a letter from her. Here it is. She 
asks me to come here — to see her. I have the good fortune to 
see you first, and I'm glad of the opportunity of asking you why 
she is compelled to call on her friends for assistance. 

Mat. For assistance ? 

Doc. For aid — to escape from this place. 

Mat. To escape from this place? Pardon me for echoing 
your words. This is not a prison. 

Doc. But she wishes to leave it — to return to her own home 
and friends. 

Mat. She- is at liberty to do so. 

Doc. She and her child ? 

Mat. That is a different matter. 

Doe. What is a different matter ? 

Mat. [Bising.'] Listen to me. Doctor. I am the father of 
her husband. She drove my son from this house— his home. 
When he left it — in the dead of night — without a word to me, 
his father — despair in his face and in his heart — he left me a 
duty to perform: to watch over his wife while she remained 
here. 

Doc. Well ? 

Mat. And to watch over his child whether his wife remained 
here or not. I cannot surrender this child to any other care. 
My son lives — he is the guardian of his boy — he may dispose of 
him as he pleases — until he does so, I will keep him. 

Enter Mary at door. 

Mary. Come in. Let me introduce you to uncle. \_Comes 
forward, followed by Dym. and Thors., "who are very distant to 
each other.'] Uncle, let me ! Ah, Doctor, do you remember me ? 
4 



50 PIQUE. 

Doc. With the greatest pleasure, Miss Standish. 

Mary. Uncle— Mr. Dymple ! Mr. Gyll ! 

Doc. Friends of mine who accompanied me. They are going 
to shoot in the neighborhood. 

Mat. {^Keenly. ~\ And to fish? There is capital sport in the 
streams. Glad to see you both. [^Aside^ The body-guard of the 
Doctor, I suppose. Knight-errants sworn to rescue the lady from 
that ogre, her father-in-law ! [ To Mary.'] Where is Mrs. Stan- 
dish ? 

Mary. I saw her return from her walk a moment ago. She 
went through the garden. And uncle — those tramps I spoke to 
you about last week — I saw them in the road again to-day. 
Watching the house too, I thought. 

Mat. Go. I'll find out what they want. Doctor, if you will 
follow Mary [crosses to K.] she will show you where my daughter- 
in-law is to be seen. 

Mary. [Bringing Mat. down.'] Oh, uncle ! Mabel is looking 
more and more unhappy every day. 

Mat. [Sarcastically.] Her husband's absence is so pro- 
tracted. 

Mary. You are cruel. 

Mat. I am. 

Mary, [c] Think how many weeks she has been ill and 
nearly dying. 

Mat. [To Doc] Here is another, Doctor, who does not 
ofifend me by taking the part of my son's wife. [Crosses to hoys.] 
Will you excuse me for a few moments? I have to see my 
farmer. [Boys bow. He exits, L. c, doum stairs.] 

Doc. [To Mary.] I thank you. [Takes her hand.] 

Mary. Make her happy, and I will thank you with all my 
heart. [Doc. and Mary exit, r. u. d.] 

Dym. Now we're alone, perhaps you'll be good enough to 
explain your behavior to this young lady. I can't see any dif- 
ference between the way you go on and regular spooning, I can't. 
I thought you said your heart was broken and the world was a 
desert. 

Thors. [c, horseback on chair.] That's pretty good for you. 
You agreed with me that your hopes were blighted, and you 
were soured with the world. 

Dym. Well ! 

Thors. Well ! You've been doing your best for the past ten 
minutes to cut me out. 

Dym. Cut you out! You admit it. And we swore to go 
hand in hand for the rest of our existence, cherishing one image 
and forswearing the rest of the sex. 



PIQUE. 51 

Tlwrs. [i^ises.] I know I did. But this one's an old acquaint- 
ance. 

Dym. [^Rise.'] Look here, Thorsby ! I have such regard for 
you that 1 don't mean to let you become a perjured villain. I'll 
take charge of this young lady while we stay here. 

Thors. Much obliged. 

Dijm. I'll keep you out of temptation. I'll remain constantly 
by her side. 

Thors. Very well ! Go on ! 

Dyjn. What do you mean by go on ? 

Thors. I'll be there. 

Dym. You'll be where? 

Thors. On the other side. 

Dym. I'll inform her that you've sworn never to marry, and 
shoAV you to be a perjured villain. 

Thors. If you dare ! Mind ! Everyone for himself! She 
don't like red hair ! 

Dym. [Disturbed.'] You don't mean to say — 

Thors. [Crosses to R., to back of chair. Waving him off.] 
Every one for himself. She'll prefer a perjured villain to a red- 
headed one.] 

Dym. Thorsby ! [ Going to him.'] 

Rag. Jim, at window. 

Bag Jim. Pst ! 

Dym. Who are you, my effervescing friend ? 

Jim. [ Very hoarse.] Governor about ? 

Dym. [Same tone.] Do you mean the old gentleman ? 

Jim. [Nods.] Yes, the tall old file. 

Dym. Off there ! [Points l.] 

Jim. [Enters.] Good ! Where's the young lady ? Her as 
came in a while ago. 

Thors. [To Dym.] What does he want with Mary ? 

Dijm. [Stiffly.'] Miss Standish, if you please. [To Jim.] 
What's your business ? 

Jim. [Hands him old yellow envelope.] Give her that. 
Mum's the word. You look like a downy cove, you do. 

Dym. [Pleased.] I look like a downy cove ! 

Thors. He alludes to your head. [Dym. annoyed.] Every- 
body notices it. 

Jim. Not a word! Only give her that! [Exits, dotvn 
stairs.] 

Thors. Give her that ! Let's see it ! [After ivatching him 
off-] 



52 PIQUE. 

Dym. Perjured villain ! What have you to do with it? 

Thors. I've as much to do with it as you have. 

Dym. I've always observed that when a man deliberately 
becomes a perjured vilhiiu, he seldom hesitates at minor indis- 
cretions. Would you violate the seal of a confidential com- 
munication ? 

Mary enters, r. it. d. 

Miss Mary \_wlfh b^iu], a letter just delivered. 

Mary, [c, takes it.~\ What a dirty letter. 

Dym. The messenger was fully as dirty as the letter. 

Mary. \^Reads.~\ "I've talked it over with my pal, and we 
agree" — why, what a curious letter: a lot of printed words 
seemingly cut from a newspaj^er, and pasted together. [^Looking 
on, the envelope.^ No name ! are you sure it is for me? 

Dym. Oh, yes. The man described you, I'm certain. 

Mary. [_Beads again.l " I've talked it over with my pal, and 
we agree that the job ought to be done at once. If you're will- 
ing, there's no time like the present. Wait till night, and when 
the governor calls the servants to prayers leave your window 
open, and leave the rest to us!" What does it mean? No ad- 
dress ! no signature ! 

Dym. [l.] Job! what's the job ? 

Mary, [c, to GyU.'\ A messenger brought this ? 

Thors. [r.] Looked like a tramp. 

Mary. A rough man ! My mind misgives me. I must show 
it to uncle. [ Crosses to R.] 

Dym.. Do. 

Thors. I'll go with you. 

Dym. So will I. \_Growdlnr] on Thors., pushes him away.'\ 

Mary. What horrible plot does it disclose. 

Dym. [To Mary^ Some scheme worthy of a perjured vil- 
lain. \_Glances at Thors., stage l.] 

Thors. [Same business.'] The base emanation of a red-headed 
intellect. 

Mary. Please come with me, Mr, Gyll. Uncle will want to 
know more of this messenger. \_Exits with Gyll, who casts a 
triumphant glance at Dym., R. 1 E.] 

Dym. [Solus.] She deliberately selected Thorsby ! He's got 
her ! That ten minutes start of me did the business. I have 
tried to save him. But he won't be saved. What's left for 
me? 



PIQUE. 53 

Dorothy enters, x. c, tip the stairs at back ivith the child Arthur. 

Dorothy. No, my darling, mamma will want you now. You 
are too tired to run about any more. [_Sees Dym.'] I beg your 
pardon. \_Aside.'\ One of Doctor Gossitt's young friends. [To 
Dym.'] Mr. Gyll or Mr. Dymple? 

Dym. [r.] Dymple, ma'am. Gyll has plunged into the 
vortex of passion ! If you wish to see him inquire of the first 
lovely woman you meet ! 

Dor. Dear me! \_To Arthur.'] Stay by Aunty! 

Dym. Hem! A lovely child, ma'am, H^m ! yours? 

Dor. Mine, sir? It is Mrs. Standish's son. 

Dym. Come to Uncle Sammy ! [TAe child extends his hands. 
Dym. sits and takes him on his knee.] As an old friend of the 
family, in fact, a rejected suitor of his mother, I think I may 
claim a sort of relationship. 

Dor. Dear me ! You seem to take it very coolly, sir. 

Dym. [ Gives child his watch to j^lay with.] Madam — I beg 
pardon, are you Madam or Miss? 

Dor. Miss — Miss Dorothy. 

Dy7n. My prevailing characteristic, Miss Dorothy, is my shy 
and retiring disposition. 

Dor. Indeed ! 

Dym. If I had been as bold as some people — who knows, this 
boy might have been mine. 

Dov. Bless me ! 

Dym. But I took no for an answer. Miss Dorothy, and ever 
since have carried a crushed heart in my bosom. 

Dor. It certainly does not show. 

Dym. What I lacked was knowledge of the world. Miss 
Dorothy, I am an orphan. If I had had a mother I should 
probably never have taken "no" for an answer. I want a 
mother or a wife. Perhaps both. But I am convinced that I 
shall never get a wife until I have found a mother. 

Dor. Really ! You are a very odd creature, Mr. Dymple. I 
don't know whether to be amused by your frankness or not ! 

Dym. Thorsby Gyll, who, although a perjured villain, has no 
lack of judgment, advises me to get a mother. What do you 
think of it ? 

Dor. I think you certainly need somebody to advise, to look 
after you. 

Dym. l^Quickly.] Do you ! somebody to advise, to guide, to 
direct, to protect me. 

Dor. Exactly ! 

Dym. Some one into whose bosom I coul,d confide my hopes 



54 PIQUE. 

and disappointruents. Miss Dorothy — you have a motherly air. 
[She half rises.'] You have ! — don't be startled ! — I am about to 
make you an offer!— Be a mother to me. [Bises, child goes to 
JDor.] 

Dor. ^Smiling.'] My dear Mr. Dymple, you are evidently 
out of your senses. [Stage L.] 

Dijm. [r.] All for want of a mother! I want a good, kind, 
motherly, but firm and decided, creature to bring me to my 
senses. 

Dor. Then I recommend you to get — 

Dym. What? • 

Dor. A mother-in-law ! Marry the daughter of one of those 
ladies who are accustomed to govern their families. I think that, 
after a short experience, you will be tolerably well satisfied. 
\_Take8 the child, crosses np R.] 

Dym. I never thought of that. It's capital advice. But in 
the meantime, if you would only think over what I've said. 

Dor. I must respectfully decline to adopt you myself I really 
have too nluch to do now. All the poultry is under my charge, 
and I really can't look after any strange chickens. 

Dym. Ha, ha ! very good ! capital. [Aside.'] I'm glad she 
didn't say calf It appears to be as hard to get a mother as it is 
to get a wife. The entire range of female relationship seems to 
be denied me. [Exits, R. 1 E.] 

Dor. Come, darling, and see if we can't find some pretty 
books to look at, and wait till mamma is done talking to the 
naughty old doctor. [ Going, and pauses to look after Dym.] I 
must really ask Mary if all the young gentlemen now-a-days are 
cracked. [Exits into parlor.] 

Rag. Jim a7id Pad. look in cautiously and then enter. 

Jim. [r.] It's too late — the Avrong one's got it and gone. 

Fadder. Well, you are a precious soft one! Give the paper 
to the wrong 'un. Where's our fifty thousand dollars gone to? 
Up in a balloon, I suppose — for now they'll find us out and stow 
away the babby. 

Jim. Oh, shut up. Trust me! I must see the gal. 

Pad. Why, what can Sally do? 

Jim. Never you mind. If that babby don't come into our 
hands by mild means — Avhy — the game's not spoiled yet. Why 
the very heart-strings of that old file is bound round the child — 
and as for its mother! fifty thousand dollars would be only a 
drop in a bucket to them. 



PIQUE. 



55 



Pad. I could sit down and cry. All our little game knocked. 
\^Some one stumbles outside.^ 

Jim. You babbling fool. Hush! get out! 

Pad darts out and Jim crouches up the stage as Rai. enters. 

Raitch. [c] Well, only to think. Miss Mary as never had 
no beau all her life — got two to onct. Oh, give me them sly 
. gals for making a scoop when they gets a chance. 

Jim. {^At back.'\ Sis! 

Bai. Starts, then looks around hurriedly and anxiously.'] Oh, 
go back — go back. You'll be ketched if you're seen. 

Jim. [l.] You fool, I tell you I've made a mistake, given a 
message to one of them chaps and he's given it to — 

Rai. To Miss Mary? 

Jim. Yes. 

Rai. Then it's all over. Oh, do go back! hide! I'll see 
what can be done. 

Jim. Something must be done at once. Tell the lady. 

Rai. I'll tell her, but do go away ! go ! [/w fright closes the 
window on him, he disappears.] Oh, what shall I do? 

Mabel and Doc. enier from her room, r. u. d. 

Mabel. \^As she enters.] I have thought of all that and I 
have made up my mind. 

Rai. [ Trying to catch her attention.] Miss Mabel. 

Mabel. Another time, I'm busy now. 

Rai. But Miss Mabel, I can't wait. 

Mabel. Go to my room, then. I'll come presently. 

Rai. [Goe-s wp wringing her hand.] If I only knowed what 
to do. [^Exits, L. u. D.] 

Doc. [r.] To what have you made up your mind? 

Mabel. To return to Grassmere, to ray home, and to take my 
child with me. 

Doc. Against the wish of your husband's father. 

Mabel. Yes, in spite of it. In spite of the precautions he 
takes. Do you know that his servants follow me wherever I go 
with my own child, as if I meditated the theft of what did not 
belong to me. 

Doc. How will you elude this watch ? 

Mabel. By a means as desperate as his tyranny is vile. 
Chance threw in my way two men who will hesitate at nothing. 
I have made use of these people for my purpose. I have ar- 
ranged with them to — 



y 



56 PIQUE. 

Dog. To steal your child away. 

Mabel. To assist his escape aud mine from this prison house. 
\_Crosses to R.] 

Doc. Mabel, my dear girl, pause before you commit this act. 
There must be some other way. 

Mabel. There is no other Avay. I have tried to soften this 
father. 

Doc. That was right. 

Mabel. But I have committed the unpardonable sin in a 
father's eye. I have driven away his son. 

Doc. [l ] Let me speak to him. Besides I have not come 
alone. I consulted with your step-mother. [^3Iabel looks np.'\ I 
had to consult some one. She has followed me down— she would 
not be denied. We will all have authority with this stern old 
man. He must yield. 

Lucille, upstairs, appears at doorway, c. 

Lucille. May I come in ? 

Doc. [(roes to her, c] Do, my dear madam. 

LfUC. \_Aside to Doctor.~\ Raymond is outside. 

Doc. Why couldn't he stay at home? 

Luc. [l.] He wanted to come. He wouldn't lose sight of 
me for a whole day. 

Doc. [Sarcastically, crosses to L.] Devoted fellow! 

Luc. Isn't he! You see we are not married yet. [Comes 
down as the Doc. goes up c] My dear Mabel ! [ Takes both her 
hands.'\ I could not stay away. I felt that you needed my 
sympathy. What is this extraordinary story? Have you mar- 
ried into a family of lunatics? First your husband runs away 
from you, and then his father keeps you under lock and key. 
What a pity, dear, they couldn't change dispositions. Why 
didn't the old man run away and the young one show such a 
desire for your society. 

Mabel. Your sympathy is truly consoling, madam. 

Luc. I knew it would be, my love. But come, tell me the 
whole of the dreadful thing fi-om beginning to end. What a 
scandal! 

Mabel. Scandal? 

Luc. Why, my dear ! your husband deserting you so shortly 
after your marriage. 

Mabel. He had to join his vessel. His orders were imperative. 

Luc. Indeed. Why didn't he resign? 

Mabel. That was his own business. You will surely allow 
him to judge for himself in such a matter. 



PIQUE, 57 

Luc. But to leave you here alone — away from New York. 

Mabel. From your tone one would suppose he had gone 
without consulting me. 

Luc. Oh ! He did consult you then ? 

Mabel. Yes. 

Luc. Then there has been no misunderstanding ? .No quarrel ? 

Mabel. Certainly not. 

Luc. \^Leaning back.'\ And he loves you just as much as he 
always did? 

Mabel. \_Biting her lip and trying to master emotion.'] Yes. 

Luc. \_Loohs at her sharply.] Well ! no one will believe it. 

Mabel. Do people always put the worst construction on the 
absence of a husband who happens to be an officer in the service 
of his country ? 

Luc. Don't talk nonsense, Mabel ! Everybody knows that 
Captain Standish is rich enough to give up the service. He 
would have done so if he had been fond of his wife. 

Mabel. \_Quickly.'] But I dissuaded him from sending in his 
resignation. 

Luc. You wouldn't have done so if you had been fonder of 
your husband. 

Mabel. \_Rise8 and crosses to L.] Enough ! My husband's 
aifairs are no subject for your interference, or for the gossip of 
the world. [ Crosses to L.] 

Doc. Good ! We'll have it all right yet. [Strolls off, e. u. e.] 

Luc. Well, there is one matter in which you have asked out- 
side interference, my dear. You wish to leave this place, with 
your child ! and this father-in-law of yours objects. 

Mabel. [ Coolly.] A mere difference of opinion as to what is 
best for little Arthur's health. 

Luc. [Keenly.] But you wrote a letter to the Doctor ! 

Mabel. [Smiling triumphantly.] Certainly, to ask his advice 
on the subject. 

Luc. [r.] Ah ! You are as clever as ever, my dear. And 
pray what does the Doctor advise. 

Mabel. That I should remain. 

Luc. [Rises.] Well, I'm glad of that. All things consid- 
ered, you are better here among the set of people you have 
married into. Honest people, I dare say ; but it was a deadful 
descent, Mabel. 

Mabel. [ Turning passionately^ And who drove me to it ? 

Luc. [Scornfully.] Who, indeed ! 

Mabel, [l.] You ! You who schemed to get from me the 
man whom I loved. 

LjUG. [Flushing.] I schemed ! 



58 PIQUE. 

Mabel. There are no secrets between us, although till now 
never by word or sign have we referred to this subject. You 
schemed, you planned to ensnare him. 

Raymond appears at hack and listens. 

Lnc. You are mad, I believe. I will not stay here to be 
insulted. [ ( 'rosses up l."| 

Mabel. \_Stage r.] Yes, perhaps I am growing to madness. 
And that will be my excuse for any want of politeness, when I 
tell you that — 

Luc. [ Trembling with anger. '\ You wish me to go. 

Mabel. At once ! 

Luc. Thank you, my dear! I forgive you. You may think 
better of this some day, and Avant my sympathy. Send for me 
when you do. \^Exits down steps.^ 

Raymond comes forward. 

Mabel. Raymond ! \_Breat1ilessly , as she retreats a step.'] 

Raymond, [l., in tone of deep sympathy. 1 Forgive me, Mabel. 
I came here with her because there was no other way to see you 
in this home. But I came on my own mission, not hers, to offer 
you the protection and help that is due even from a stranger to a 
woman who needs it. 

Mabel. You — have come to seek me f 

Ray. I know that you hate me, that you despise me. But 
you have no cause — on my life, you have no cause. 

Mabel. Not after what I heard and saw ! 

Ray. The night that I clasped you in my arms, that I wrung 
from you a confession of love ! [*S7;e makes a quick gesture for him 
to be silent, and suddenly closes her ears with her hands, then 
buries her face in them.'] Yes, what you heard and saw that night 
would have stamped me as the veriest traitor breathing — but for 
one thing. It was that same night you gave your hand to 
Arthur Btandish. 

3Iabel. [Protidly.'] Well, sir. 

Ray. But I do not blame you. 

Mabel. \_Vrosses to -r. chair.'] Indeed! [^Rises, bitterly.] Per- 
haps, too, you have forgiven me. 

Ray. [ Warmly.] Yes — for all the misery you caused me by 
taking that ste]) before listening to my explanation. But now 
that I see you again — 

Mabel. [^Starts up.] You will hear me say that the past is for- 
gotten. There is no need to revert to it. \_Goes to chair, u.] 



PIQUE. 59 

Ray. But the past has left its sting ! 

Mabel. What sting ? Remorse ? Pray cease to feel any, 
since you have done no harm. 

Ray. You cannot deceive me, Mabel ! You know that you 
are not happy. You cannot conceal the truth from me, for I, 
too — 

Mabel. {^Claspincj her hands on her knee.'] I have no wish to 
conceal the truth. God help me, it is stamped in my face and 
burned into my heart. 

Ray. And that I am the cause — 

Mabel. [>Sa?ne.] No. No. The fault is mine ! 

Ray. [Eagerly.'] But from the consequences of this fault, I 
will rescue you at the peril of my life. Oh, Mabel, let there be 
no further misunderstanding between us. For your sake, and to 
retrieve my folly, 1 would brave everything and dare everyone. 
Only say that you will accept the protection that I offer against 
the horrors of the pit into which my blindness has plunged you. 
\_Kneels.'\ 

Mabel. [Rising.] Mr. Raymond Lessing, have you not slightly 
mistaken me? 

Ray. I did mistake you until the day you married Arthur 
Standish. Then I saw what I had lost. What a wealth of love 
she could offer whose hate could drive her to the sacrifice of a 
whole life! But I do not mistake you now, when you tell me 
that you are wretched, and that your pride and anger are alone 
to blame for it, for I see that you would spare me and not 
yourself. 

Mabel. Yes, I w^ould spare you and not myself. 

Ray. You will let me sue for your pardon on my knees. You 
will let me read the secret of that heart I lost in my hour of tri- 
umph, to find again in my hour of despair ! You will let me tell 
you of the love that has followed you to another's arms, ready 
when that sacred refuge was denied you, to save you from utter 
and hopeless misery. 

Mabel. Yes, I have let you tell me all this, that my cup of 
shame might be filled to the brim, and not lack the bitterest in- 
gredient of all — the knowledge that my crime has subjected me 
to the last insult a woman can bear. \^Rises, stage L.] 

Ray. [^Rising.] No, not a crime, Mabel. A fault, to revenge 
yourself on me by marrying another — but not a crime! 

Mabel. Am I speaking of you ! Miserable one ! My crime 
was to revenge upon an innocent man the treachery I suffered 
from you! 

Ray. You loved me then f 

Mabel. No! I despised you. But the store of hate you 



60 PIQUE. 

heaped in my heart I have scattered broadcast among the guilt- 
less. Yes, I have tortured this man who deserved it only by 
loving me — by trusting me! I have driven him from his home 
— from his child ! 

Ray. [ Cro^ses.'\ I know it, and I have come to make what repa- 
ration lays in my power. 

Mabel. \_Turnmg short on /tt'm.] Your reparation! If you 
had a hundred lives to live, and each were offered me, I would 
hold them ligliter than the least breath of the man I have in- 
jured. I brought him scorn and hate — he gave me tenderness 
and love. I brought him falsehood — he gave me constancy and 
truth. I can s])eak of him before you, because I am humbled to 
the dust, and in my wretchedness I can do him no dishonor. 
{_Crosses E.] 

Bay. Charming! Then you love your husband? 

Mabel. I love him? Yes! Heaven is my witness that I love 
him now, as he loved me. From the moment he left me I knelt 
and prayed that some judgment might fall upon me, for my 
wicked blindness. I have begun to suffer what I merit, since I 
am forced to listen to you. 

Ray. l^After a jjause.^ I am delighted that your husband is 
destined to be a happy man. Delighted ! I wish he were here 
to receive the same assurance. As he cannot be, and I will not 
be permitted to witness your reconciliation, I have no alternative 
but to bid you good day. \_Aside — as he is going.'] For the 
second time in my life I have been a fool — and about the same 
woman ! '[Exits down steps.] 

Mabel. This, then, is what it is to suffer. God forgive me what 
I have caused the father of my child to bear ! [Sinks in chair, r.] 

Matthew enters, l. u. e., and watching Lessing then comes down 

to Mabel. 

Matthew. Is that man your accomplice? [He has the letter of 
the tramps in his hand, oj^en.] 

Mabel. Sir ! [Mildly, not understanding.] 

Mat. I ask you the name of that man? 

Mabel. Raymond Lessing. 

Mat. The person for whose sake you insulted your husband 
in his own house. 

Mabel. Yes ! [Breaks down again.] 

Mat. And now your accomplice, who is to assist you in your 
plot? 

Mabel. [Rises.] I do not understand 

Mat. Look at this paper. It has fallen into my hands by ac- 



PIQUE. 61 

cident. By some inspiration I comprehend its meaning. You 
are about to remove your child by stealth. Is it not enough that 
you cast yourself at the feet of yonder wretch — that you brought 
him here — here, beneath an honest man's roof, to complete your 
infamous bargain with him — but you must drag your child with 
you to this new career of shame? 

Mabel [Appealing.'] Oh! sir, do not drive me back to the 
madness I have been trying to escape. Have pity on me, I be- 
seech ! 

3IaL [^Crosses R., behind.'] Beseech me not. I am no dupe of 
your tardy repentance. 

Mabel, [l. Frenzied.] On your life I warn you not to drive 
me, by new insults, to the desperate step I had resolved upon ! 

Mat. Your threats are as Aveak as your repentance. Go! 
Leave this home polluted by the presence of that wretch! Be- 
gone — -join him — when and where you please! As for your 
child, I will keep him safely, never fear. I have been warned 
in time ! \^Exits into room, r. 1 e.] 

Mabel. Be it so ! Hard and implacable old man. It is you 
who drive me forth. 

Mary entering from r. 1 e. 

Mary. Mabel, what are you about to do? Take little Arthur 
from us. You cannot mean it. You shall not do it. 

Mabel. Shall not! \_Passionately.] 

Mary. No, no! I should not have said that. I mean only 
to show you the folly you contemplate. 

Mabel. What have you to do w4th me or my folly? I leave 
this house free to you and to the man you love — when he comes 
back. You should be thankful for that. \_Going up).] 

Mary. Oh, you cannot mean — 

Mabel. Deny it not! Did I not read your secret the very 
night he brought me here? 

Mary. Mabel ! If you have ever known what it is to feel the 
sting of an insult that spared neither your sex nor your weakness, 
you can understand what a bitter wrong you have done me by 
this suspicion. \_Tarns away weeping.] 

Mabel. Fool! wretch that I am! how can I hope for pity 
that shows none. Mar}^ — sister, I was mad! I wished to re- 
venge my own outraged feelings on some one, and like a coward 
I struck the defenceless. Mary, see I am on my knees to you. 
Forgive me, poor heart, that has suffered so silently. I am- more 
wretched than you, for I deserve no pity. 

Mary. [ Clasps and raises her.] No, no, no. I love you w'ith 



62 PIQUE. 

ray \vhole heart. I love your dear little child. I wish you to be 
happy again, and I came to beg you not to place an eternal bar 
between you and that happiness. 

Dorothy enters with child asleep, very softly, r. 1 e. Music. 

Mabel. [^Darts forward, c] My child! 

Dorothy. Hush! He's asleep. \_Goes to sofa near fire and 
lays him down.'] I'll go and see that his bed is prepared. 

[^Exits, R. U. E.] 

Mary. Oh, sister, for you have called me so! will you not stay* 
with us and with him? He is yourguardian angel. [Mabel 
hisses her silently and drops on her knees by the sleeping child. 
Mary, after lingering a moment, goes out, R. u. E.] 

Mabel. [7'o Mary.'] Yes, he is my guardian angel! \_After 
Mary goes out.] From what sin, what despair, does he not keep 
me. Oh, Thou ! Who hast given him to me so helpless and yet 
so strong to save, make me worthy of this precious gift. These 
tiny hands about my neck shall draw me to a better life; this 
innocent head resting upon my bosom shall cast out my hate 
and pride. And I will watch over thee, ray baby — lest in my 
hour of guilt, my punishment should come through thee. Oh, 
dreadful thought! {^Clasping her hands on high.] No, no, no, 
not through him. Not through him ! spare, ray child. [^Pause. 
Music] 

Rag. Jim appears at the window, opens it and leaps in lightly. 
Pad. appears after him. 

Jim. Pst ! 

Mabel. \_Gets r. of c, in terror.] No, no, go leave me! 

Jim. Now's your time lady! all's clear. 

Mabel. I have changed my mind. Here is money. Go, 
with what you have already it will pay you well. 

Jim. \_Eagerly tvatching child and glancing around the roo7n.] 
The horse and Avagon are outside, mistress! Let them catch us 
if they can ! we'll give 'em our dust for forty mile. \_Stretches 
out his arms for the child, who is on sofa, L.] 

Mabel. No, no, do I not tell you I have changed my mind. 

Jim. [^Fiercely.] AVhat of that! I've not changed mine! 
A bargain's a bargain. \_Dashes her aside, seizes child and flies 
to window, handing it to Pad., ?<7io disappears.] 

Mabel. Help! Help! my child! \_Clutches Jim, who strikes 
her.] 

Jim. Off! [Mabel screams, Jim leaps through window, as 



PIQUE. 63 

all enter from various doors. ^ Mat., Dor., Mary, Doctor, 
Dymple and Gyll.] 

Mabel. There! Gone! Gone! Ah! [^Falls senseless as ^mtcis. 
rushes off c. Mat. and Doctor go to windoiv, the boys after 
Raitch c.'] 

Curtain. 



ACT IV. 

Scene I. — Dr. GossUfs Study in New York. The Doctor is dis- 
covered at desk; c, finishing some writing. A handbill and a 
mass of opened letters are before him. Music. 

Doctor. There ! That's for the morning papers. Twenty thou- 
sand dollars reward ! Double the offer we have made in our 
posters and advertisements so far. \_Folding up handbill and 
writing as he speaks.^ And perhaps we shall have something 
more satisfactory than these ! [ Taps letters.'\ 

Dorothy enters r. 

"W ell, how is our patient ? 

Dorothy. The fever seems to abate ! Was it prudent, Doctor, 
do you think, to bring her here ? 

Doc. My dear madaiu, she would have gone raving mad if 
we did not let her share in our efforts to recover her child. It 
was a choice between a fever and a coffin, and I preferred the 
fever. 

Dor. [r.] No news yet ? 

Doc. None ! 

Dor. And so many searching. Matthew, Mr. Dymple, Mr. 
Gyll- 

Doc. And the whole police force. 

Dor. What are those ? [^Points to letters in his hand.^ 

Doc. Answers to our last advertisement. 

Dor. [^Delighted.'] Then he is found? They will bring him 
to us ? 

Doc. Not quite ! These are the jackals who follo^^ the scent 
with the hunters. The customary city swindlers trying to rob 



64 



PIQUE. 



grief and mulct misfortune. [Shows one letter,'] From a person 
boldly avowing himself a professional thief, who says he knows 
where the child is concealed, and will tell for five hundred dollars 
down mailed to his address ! [SJiows another.'] From a " Pri- 
vate Detective Agency," hinting at certain mysterious 'informa- 
tion we can have for five hundred dollars down ! [Shows another.] 
From a clairvoyant, who has had extraordinary visions, which 
she will reveal for five hundred dollars down ! [Folds them up 
hastily, rises.] By Jove ! I believe all the rascality of the city 
has fixed its price at five hundred dollars down ! 

Dor. [Mysteriously.] Doctor ! [Looking around.] I'd try 
her. 

Doc. Try whom ? 

Dor. You know ! [He looks at her ; she looks around again ; 
he follows her action.] The clairvoyant. [Mysteriously.] 

Doc. [_Lauglis^ My dear woman, are you mad ? 

Dor. It can't do any harm, and I've heard of a person — quite 
a lady — who lost a watch and went to one of these persons — un- 
known to her husband, of course. 

Doc. Well, did she get the watch ? 

Dor. No, you see she hadn't any proof except what the clair- 
voyant said ; but she had her suspicions confirmed about a cook 
she had discharged for drunkenness ! It's a fact, I assure you. 

Doc. [Pretending solemnity.] My dear Miss Dorothy ! would 
you — a Christian woman — invoke the assistance of the powers of 
darkness in this case ? 

Dor. Oh, dear no ! but if it would lead to the discovery of 
poor little Arthur — 

Doc. You wouldn't mind giving the devil the job. 

Dor. [Shocked.] Doctor ! 

Dog. Trust me, my dear lady — if we must have mystery and 
witchcraft — let's buy our own brimstone and raise the devil our- 
selves. It's much cheaper. 

Dor. Now you're laughing at me. 

Doc. No. Not at you. At the clairvoyants. We shall find 
the villains yet without their help. They have been traced to 
New York. They are only waiting for the temptation of a large 
reward, and to-morrow we ofier twenty thousand dollars. 

Enter Dymple and Gyll, as if from street, tired. 

Well, young gentlemen, what success? 

Dymple. Same as ever ! miles of walking and no results. 
Thorsby. [l.] Done half the city in three days. 
_ Dor. [ Taking his hand.] Ah, Mr. Dymple, what a self-sac- 
rificing, unselfish heart you have. 



PIQUE. 65 

Dym. You see what you lost when you wouldn't have me for 
a son. 

Dor. Never mind ! I'm everybody's Aunt Dorothy. I'll be 
yours. 

Dym. That's something. It isn't everybody that has au 
aunt. 

Doc. [r., to Thors.'] A useless search. I told you so. 

Thors. [Crosses to Doc^ We must do something! We can't 

sit down patiently and Avait for answers to advertisements. I 

begin to see what a fraud the census is ! Why, there's at least 

• a million girls and babies in New York, let alone men, women 

and children. 

Doe. Have you been to police headquarters, to-day ? 

Dym. [ Crosses to Doc.'] Yes, and they begin to treat us in 
an extremely snappish way. We annoy them, I suppose. 
Nothing annoys police headquarters so much as inquiries after 
what they ought to find out and can't. 

Thors. \_Asicle to Dor.] Any news from — from Deerfield — 
Miss Dorothy ? [Dym. ivatches Thors. while Doc. continues to 
address him in dumb show.] 

Dor. From Mary ? Only a letter she sent us to-day. 

Thors. Is — is she — well ? 

Dor. Yes, poor child ! I suppose so, at least, for she doesn't 
speak of herself. 

Thors. I think if I Avere to go up there, and make inquiries 
in the neighborhood. I might get some cleAV. 

Dor. Oh, no, w^e have exhausted all means of information 
there. [ Goes to Doc] 

Dym. {^Close to Thors.] I heard you. You want to get a 
clew, do you? Haven't we sworn to share all our clews to- 
gether ? 

Thor.s. [^Impatiently.] Oh, you are always suspecting. [Going 
to door.] 

Dym. No clews to yourself, old felloAV — especially in that 
quarter — without first consulting me. [They exit] 

Doc. Did you show Mabel, Mary's letter ? Does she know 
that her husband is coming ? 

Dor. I'm afraid to speak to her 'till she asks me. 

Doc. And she has not mentioned his name? 

Dor. No. 

Doc. I can't understand it. 

Dor. I can. 

Doc. Perhaps so. You women comprehend all the turnings 
and twistings of that maze you call a woman's heart. Thank 
5 



66 PIQUE. 

goodness I'm a bachelor. But one thing I know : if this punish- 
ment don't soften her — 

Matthew enters, l. c, ivearUy, as from the street. 

never was one more justly — 

Matthew. We have no business with that now, Doctor. 

Dor. [^Running to him, taking his hat and stick as he siiiks 
wearily on chair. '\ Oh, brother ! 

Doc. My good friend. 

3Iat. {_Crosses to c] I heard your words as I came in. Let 
us speak of this poor girl's faults no more. Doctor. Heaven has 
made her its own by a sovereign affliction. She has passed from 
our censure to the chastisement of One that loves whom he 
chasteneth. 

Doc. You are right. 

Dor. [l.] Ah, brother, it is good to hear you speak so. 

Mat. I have been to blame that I added to this young girl's 
sorrow. 

Dor. You ? 

Doc. [r.] I do not understand. 

Mat. You need not, for the present. Doctor, I shall want to 
consult you by and by. [To Dor.'] Any news from my son ? 

Dor. Mary has sent us a telegram from him. It came to 
Deerfield yesterday. He is on his way from Hampton Koads. 

Mat. And Mary ? 

Dor. [l.] She is still on the watch. 

Doc. For whom ? 

Dor. That poor creature, Rachel. 

Doc. \_Angrily.'] The hussey ! I'm certain now she was in 
league with the thieves. 

Mat. No ! I won't believe that. 

Doc. Hark ye, Mr. Standish. Your sister has given me that 
girl's history. Rescued from the very gutters of this metropolis, 
when a mere infant, by the officers of the Mission, she was sent 
into your parts of the country, as hundreds of young vagrants 
like her, for adoption. 

Dor. [l.] But that was nine years ago. 

Doc. [r.° Well, her friends or relations have reclaimed her. 
She has gravitated back to the depths from which she sprang. 
These kidnappers are her people. Perhaps her parents. That's 
the whole story. 

Dor. What ? Go back willingly to them — after the way I 
brought her up ? 

Doc. [r.] Why havn't we heard from her? 

Dor. Like enough they keep her under lock and key. 



PIQUE. 67 

Doc. She was seen in the wagon when they drove off — she 
Avasn't under lock and key then. If she turns out to be any- 
thing better than the thieves she ran off with, I'll take my own 
physic, that's all. 

Mat. I'll trust the girl. If these wretches have not killed 
her, we shall hear from her in good time, [To Dor., bringing 
her down; Doc. sits at desh.^ Mabel — is she better — does she 
speak of me — of him, her husband, of anyone but her child? 

Dor. Of little Ai'thur — no one but little Arthur. But, 
brother, I was sitting in the chair near the sofa where she lay — 
she thought me asleep, for I had been dozing — when I saw her 
take a letter from her bosom and read it with streaming eyes. I 
recognized it. It was the one she got from Arthur when he 
went away. It is the only bit of his writing that she possesses. 
I watched her read it when she could hardly see a word in it for 
the tears in her eyes ! Oh, brother ! there is a Providence iu 
affliction. {^Street door bell heard.'] 

Doc. [Starts up.] Visitors ! Perhaps some news ! 

Mat. [ Wiping his eyes.] Yes, good news ! 

Doc. Eh ? How do you know ? 

3fat. 1 know. [Smiling.] For my heart tells me so. 

Doc. My heart never tells me anything when the street door 
bell rings. 

3fat. It's Dorothy's news — news for a father to hear. I can 
only repeat her Avords, Doctor, there's a Providence in afflic- 
tion. 

Dymple, l., outside. 

Dymple. Come right in. [Enters laith a parcel open in his haiid.] 
News ! We have something at last. [Mary and Thors. follow 
in, L. 1 D.] 

Mat. Mary. 

Mary. [Kissing Mat. and Dor., and taking Doc's hand.] I 
came as soon as I got it. 

Doc. Got what? 

Mary. A parcel by express — this morning. Look, Uncle! 
It is Rachel's frock. The one she Avore when they took her 
aAA'ay. 

Dor. Her frock ? 

Mary. Wrapped up ! Here it is ! I couldn't stay there and 
write to you. I had to come. 

Doe. [Dym. crosses to him^ Let me see it. [Tahes froch 
from Dym. Did you search the pockets ? [Does sol] Nothing ! 
What does it mean ? [Looks over it.] Is there no paper pinned 
to it ? Where's the wrapper it came in ? 



68 PIQUE. 

Dym. Not a word here but the direction, \_Gives the paper 
to Doc and takes frock, and he and Thors. examine it together !\ 

Mat. I think I understand what it means. 

Marij. What is that, Uncle ? 

Mat. The villains wish us to understand by this that any 
recognition of the girl by her clothes is useless. It was one 
mark by which the detectives were to know her. 

Mary. I had a terrible suspicion, Uncle, that they had killed 
her and sent this dumb message to tell the dreadful story. 

Dor. No, no ! they would not dare do that. 

Thors. [^Aside to Mary.'] Don't fret, Miss Mary. 

Dym. I say, Doctor — I think, if, instead of sending us a 
dress they had sent us an address, it would have been more to 
the purpose. 

Mary. [ To Dor.] Is Mabel awake ? [Dor. nods and points 
off.] May I go to her ? Is she Avell enough to see me ? 

Dor. Certainly. 

Thors. This way, Miss Mary. 

Mary. Thank you. [She passes out with Dor., r.] 

Dyvi. [Mho has been cut out by Tlwrs. in showing Mary out, 
following and slapping Thors. on the back^ Serpent ! 

Thors. [ Gaily, returning and talcing hold of the dress.] Let's 
have another look at the frock, Sammy. 

Dym. [Tears it from him.] No, sir! You follow your clue, 
I'll have this one to myself [ Off, l., Thors. r.] 

Mat. [l., to Doc] Now quick, my friend^ — while we are 
alone together. As I came in just now, a messenger, near the 
door, gave me an envelope — here it is — and immediately disap- 
peared. A shabby looking old man — see, a sheet on which 
are pasted words cut from a book or paper. [The Doctor takes 
the paper.] He did not wait for me to open it, as yOu may suj^- 
pose. 

Doc. [Finishes reading and turns paper over.] Humph ! 

Mat. What do you think of it? 

Doc. A trap. 

3Iat. [l.] You believe it ? 

Doc. Plain as day. An appointment at night — behind a 
churchyard — a desperate and deserted neighborhood — a mere 
plan to rob you. 

Mat. But the letter itself— exactly similar to the one left by 
the tramps at Deerfield. The sender offers to give the child into 
my own hands, if I will come to his terms. 

Doc. He couldn't offer a better bait. And you are to go 
there alone. Alone, understand, with the money — a likely 
story. 



PIQUE. 



69 



3£at. The sender warns me expressly to seek no aid from the 
police. 

Doc. And very properly, if he wishes to get you in his 
power. 

Mat. But we dare not neglect any means — even the most 
dangerous or the least promising— to find my grandson. I am 
not afraid. I will go. 

Doc. You will ? 

3fat. Yes. 

Doc. Then what the devil did you ask my advice for ? 

Mat. I merely wished to let you know where I proposed 
going to-night. 

Doe. Very well. Now I know, I shall have Captain Steers 
and half a dozen of his best officers there to look after you. 

Mat. I beg you will do nothing of the kind. I need no pro- 
tection. I have seen the vagabonds your police pointed out to 
me as the thieves and burglars of the metropolis. I believe I 
am a match for half a dozen of them. 

Doc. [r.] My dear sir, this is the usual New England esti- 
mate of its own ability. Don't disparage our burglars, I beg. 
They are the only things we New Yorkers take a just pride in. 

3fat. [Seriously.'] I value my life as nothing. Doctor, com- 
pared to the reparation I owe Mabel. I have wronged her 
deeply — if I am to atone for it by this sacrifice, I am ready. 
But something tells me that I have this mystery now in my 
grasp. \_As he is about to go, Mat. looks off R. and then detains 
iJm Doc. Doc. advances r. tvith outstretched arms, and Mat. 
shyly draws hack^ 

Doc. Mabel! It is the first time she has been out of her 



Mabel enters, r., supported on Mary's arm. 

My dear, this is imprudent; you are not well enough yet. 
\_Gently:\ 

3Iabel. [Nervously.'] But I cannot sit there all alone. I 
must help you — go somewhere — do something to aid your search. 
[Mat. sinks in chair.] 

Doc. [Gently.] You can help us all and give us aid by your 
patience — by brave and courageous patience. 

Mabel. Have I not been patient? But you tell me nothing. 
Rachel has sent to us. What does it mean ? What do you in- 
tend doing? 

Doc. We must think about it, dear. This dress is as great a 
mystery as any we have had to deal with. 

Mabel. It is all clear to me. It means that some one is 



70 PIQUE. 

thinking of us — that the broken link is reuniting and a hand is 
stretched out to us through the darkness. It is a message of 
hope Doctor, sent by that poor girl, but it is also a call to us for 
help. Can we not help her? Where she is, my child is. 

I)oc. If we could help her we would do it instantly; but 
there is no word — no suggestion how to reach her. Trace the 
parcel back step by step to her we may — but that requires time 
and the exercise of judgment. 

Mabel. This is what is so hard to bear. You want time! 
time ! time ! You always say so. Is it possible my child can be 
taken from me — carried through villages and towns in broad 
day — and no one question? How are the people found who flee 
wath no burden save the guilt they carry in their bosoms? Why 
did no one stop these ruffians bearing a delicate child ! or if they 
hide has the law no net to drag the depths which conceal them? 
l_Crosses to L.] 

Doc. The law is doing its best — but we don't rely on that — 
we are all searching. 

Mabel. [^Back to him.'\ And can I do nothing? I have heard 
of mothers in other times who went through the streets calling 
aloud at every door, so that at sound of their voices their little 
ones might cry out and so discover themselves. The rudest 
people respected their grief — kind but hardy friends sprang up 
at every step and helped them in the search. 

Doc. We can do much better in these days, my dear. A 
hundred mighty agencies are at work for us. The avarice and 
greed of men search more diligently than even a mother's lo"\^! 
We have doubled the reward we offered : cupidity or treachery 
must soon disclose him. 

Mabel. \_Crosses to 3Iary.'] Who then is searching? 

Mary, [r.] All of our friends — Thorsby, I mean Mr. Gyll, 
Mr. Dymple — and, above all, one whose feet never weary pacing 
the streets to bring back little Arthur. 

Mabel. [Doc. (/efe L.] Of whom do you speak ? [TVie Doc. 
and Mary stand aside so as to reveal 3fat.'] He? [yI struggle 
of resentment and emotion.l Mr. Staudish. 

Mary. [To Mabell] You may call him by another name 
now, Mabel ! He could not do more were he indeed your father. 

Matthew advances with hesitancy and timidity. 

Mat. There is no merit in any sacrifice I or mine make you 
you, my child. I — an old man — stern in my fancied integrity 
and sense of right — humble myself before you, whom I wronged 
by my cruel and unjust susjjicions that day. I ask your pardon, 
my daughter. [/SAe holds out her hand, he takes it, then as she, 



PIQUE. 71 

giving way to her feelings, begins to sob, he draws her softly to his 
bosoni-l There, there! my poor child. [^Wipes Ms own eyes.'\ 
It is I who have brought this misfortune on you. Gentle words, 
kindness from me — might have averted it. I owe you rej)ara- 
tion and I promise it. You shall have your child again, I promise 
it. I— there — there. \_Resigns her to Mary, and as he is going 
L., aside to Doc] Do you wonder that I risk my life? It belongs 
to her! [Exits, l. 1 e.] 

Doc, Aside^l What a wonderful deal of good a little trouble 
does for us. This baby will be a blessing yet. [Exits after 
Mat, L.] 

Mary. Do not despair, my darling. For Arthur loved you — 
and he is returning. 

Mabel. Yes, and by so much as he loved me he will not for- 
give nie. 

Mary. Pat away the thought. The heart that can feel so 
much will soften. 

Mabel. There is only One who forgives, who embraces, who 
feeds and who spares them that trample on His love. And even 
that forgiveness I dare not invoke. [E.iceunt, r.] 

D YMPLE, L. 1 E., re-enters with frock in his hand. 

Dymple. There they go ! The only two women whom I ever 
loved. One I couldn't get, and the other I can't. I watched 
her with Thorsby. When I talk to her she looks me straight in 
the eye ; when he talks to her she looks at his boots. I've noticed 
the peculiarity in the female sex before. They won't meet your 
eye if they love you for fear you'll discover the fact too soon. 
Well, they've both gone from me forever, and I'm left with this 
gingham! This gown, like everything else pertaining to woman- 
kind, eludes, avoids and baffles me. I have literally turned it 
inside out and upside down — explored the tucks, verified the 
seams and inspected the gathers, and yet it is a wrinkle beyond 
me. [As he is feeling about the waist-band he touches something 
and stops.'] There is a peculiar lumpiness about this particular 
portion of the anatomy ! I wish I was a dressmaker ! I wonder 
if its natural. [Takes out penknife.] I've been tempted half a 
dozen times to rip it open! [Cuts the dress.] If its nothing. 
By jove, it is something. It's a piece of paper. A piece of brown 
paper. There's nothing on it! A substitute I suppose for buck- 
ram, A piece of paper — full of pin holes. Evidently a pin- 
cushion before its incarceration in its late place of interment. 
[Holds it up suddenly, then calls.] Thorsby ! Thorsby ! 



72 PIQUE. 

Thorsby enters, r. 1 e., 

Thorsby. Well? 

Dym. Come here! Look! Take this! Look at it! Do 
YOU see anything? Hold it up to the light. 

Thors. Full of holes. Pin-holes. 

Dym. Then I'm not blind ! Pin-holes that make letters and 
words. 

Thors. Letters and words? 

Dym. Look here ! this is a word ! P-R-0-M-LS-E — promise 
written as clear as pen and ink could make it. 

Thors. So it is. "Promise! " 

I>y)ii. Give me air ! Don't go away ! Oh, if it should be 
something. 

Thors. [^Reads over Dyyn's shoulders.~\ " Promise made to 
me!" 

Dym. What's that next line ?—" at "—what's this? "Beg- 
gar's Paradise." " Promise made to me at Beggars Paradise ! " 
where's that ? 

Thors. I never heard of a beggar's paradise. Perhaps the 
paper will explain. 

Dym. It does. " Promise made to me at Beggars Paradise — 
Thames Street." Where's that ? Ever been there ? 

Thors. \_Contmuing.'\ "Thames Street — near the river!" 

Dym. \_Conthming.'\ " I am to share in the reward!" It's 
all as clear as day. 

Thors. Is it? 

Dym. I see it all. 

Thors. So do I — all there is to see — and that's not much. 

Dym. Isn't there? It's a clew. Beggars Paradise. Thames 
Street near the river ! — we'll go there ! 

Thors. You're a lunatic. 

Dym. Am I. This paper is either a hint to us, or a tell-tale 
record of a partner in the stealing. There's no accident about 
it, Thorsby. Pins never did this by themselves. 

Thors. l_Crosses l.] Let's ask the Doctor. 

Dym. Not for worlds. It may be nothing — it may be some- 
thing. Let's find out first. Will you go with me ? 

Thors. Won't I. 

Dym. Beggar's Paradise! Let's be a couple of Peris and 
knocks at the gate of paradise. Thorsby you can have the other 
clew — I mean the other girl, all to yourself. This clew and this 
girl with her new-fashioned pin-pointed handwriting belongs to 
me. Patent applied for ! \_Exuent, 'l.'] 

[Change.] 



PIQUE. 



73 



Scene II.— The wall behind Trinity Churchyard. Snow. Old 
posters cover it. Among them one or two as follows : 

" $10,000 Reward ! Child Stolen. This sum will be paid 
to any person restoring to his j^arents Arthur Staxdish, a 
child, 2-2 years of age. Light complexion. Blue eyes. Mole 
on the ear. Had on ivhen stolen from his home, at Old Deer- 
field, Mass., a xvhite frock, white socks, blue kid boots. Apply 
to Mattheiv Sfandish at Old Deerfield ; or to Henry Gossitt, 
M.D., 14 Washington Square; or to the Chief of Police !" 

Another handbill reads : " $1 000 Reward ! Will be paid 
by the Trustees of the Town of Deerfield, Mass., for the return 
of Arthur Standish, a child, stolen on the 13<A of November. 
Description: 2} years old, etc., etc.," as above. 

Arthur Standish enters, r , in naval uniform, cloak; folloived by 
a sailor carrying a valise. 

Standish. You only have to go with me to the Park, Rattlin. 
There I'll get a carriage. Then you may wait ashore with the 
boys. 

Rattlin. Thank your honor for the leave. They'll be glad 
enough to get a whiff of land air. 

Stan. But keep them together, and wait at the ferry house for 
me 'till one o'clock. I may return on board to-night. And no 
drinking, mind ! You see that group yonder ? Policemen ! Land 
marines^ as you call them ! don't fall into tl;ieir hands. 

Rat. Never fear, your honor ! We hates a policeman as we 
hates the devil ! [Retires up.'] 

Stan. Called back again, but not by her. Other voices sum- 
mon me. Not a word — not a line from Mabel. Even the loss 
of her child does not soften her hard and icy heart. But what 
of that ? Let me lay her infant once more in her arms and my 
duty is done. \_E.vits, i.., followed by Rat. Music] 

After a pause Matthew Standish strolls on, r. 

Matthew. This is the place. No one in sight save the two 
yonder; and now they turn the corner and are gone. It's a quiet 
'spot, indeed. Just the place for an ambush. Ugh! In the 
heart of this populous city I wait and watch as my ancestors did 
two hundred years ago 'in the woods of Deerfield, when the 
stealthy savage lurked in the darkness. 



74 PIQUE. ■ 

Picker Bob has entered, l,, during above, with sack on back and 
basket on arm, pick in hand. He watches Mat, and when 
latter turns, ^OB prete7ids to be groping for rags. 

Picker Bob. [^Nearing Mat.'] Cold night, sir ! \_Crosses to r.] 

Mat. ISnspiciously.] Very. 

P. B. Too cold to be out aloue ! 

Mat. I need no company for Avhat I have to do. 

P. B. Are you sure ? 

Mat. Quite sure. 

P. B. So much the better ! [Exits, R.] 

Mat. "Who can he be ? A picket thrown out to reconnoitre ? 

Padder enters, smoking a pipe, L. Dog under his arm. Dressed 
like a dog fancier. 

Padder. Evenin', fi-iend. 

Mat. Good evening. 

Pad. Want to buy a dog ? 

Mat. No, I thank you. 

Pad. Perhaps you havn't got the money handy to pay for 
him. 

Mat. Perhaps not. 

Pad. Or p'raps yer a savin' up yer soap for another kind o' 
commodity. 

Mat. You've hit it, ray man. 

Pad. Well, you won't get it. \_Crosses to 'R^ 

Mat. Why not ? 

Pad. [Indicating police, off L. H.] Too many bidders at the 
sale, that's all. [Exits, r.] 

Mat. These gentlemen speak in parables. He comes back. 
Can it be the rascal I'm to deal with ? 

Re-enter Padder, r. 

Padder. I say. 

Mat. What do you say ? 

Pad. [Meaningly.'] Do you know the way to the nearest 
police station ? 

Mat. No ! 

Pad. Then where did you get the crowd of cops at the cross- 
ing yonder ? 

Mat. I did not get them. 

Pad. Look ye, governor ! Don't waste your time here. It's 
a dangerous place — and particularly for a cove what can't move 



PIQUE. 75 

through the streets without a peeler at his heels. Take my ad- 
vice. Go home. I'm going, understand ! It's late ! Shops 
shut up ! No business to be done to-night. Go home ! Under- 
stand? [Exits, after laying hits finger on his nose several times, R.] 
Mat. I understand ! These rascals have taken alarm at the 
Doctor's police. I must get rid of them. [Makes a step towards l.] 

Ragmoney Jim, disguised as a beggar crijjple, enters. 

Jim. Send me, your honor ! 

3Iat. Who are you ? Send you where ? 

Jim. [l.] You want to call the police up there, or you want 
to pack them off about their business. I'm a poor fellow in want 
of a job. I'll run for you — 

Mat. [Aside.l Another! why it's a hornet's nest. [Alotid.'] 
Yes, go tell the officers I shall not need them and that I request 
them to watch me no further. 

Jim. Oh, they wouldn't take my word, your honor. 

Mat. Ask the captain to come here, then. 

Jivi. Aye, that's the business. [Gives loxo, soft cry like a bird. 
It's answered by another in the distance.'] That'll do it. You'll 
excuse my not waiting till he comes. [C7'osses to R.] 

3fat. But— 

Jim. You want to know what to do with yourself when the 
cops are gone ? Why, come on an errand of charity. My poor 
old wife will show you the way. I'll send her. You'll see our 
poor little children, especially the Youngest ! And you'll take 
such a sudden benevolent interest in us as never was. Follow the 
old woman. I'll send her — [meaningly'] when you're alone! 
mind — alone ! 

Exits, R., as Padder enters, L., followed by Captain of Police. 

Padder. There's the genelman as sent me! [Steps behind 
house, L., and listens.] 

Captain. We are on hand, sir ! Eight of us— some in the 
churchyard looking over at us now, some up by Trinity building 
— all within call. 

Mat. My dear captain ! There are just eight too many of 
you. You must leave me to myself — unattended — unwatched — 
or, I shall discover nothing. 

Pad. [l., aside.] That's gospel. 

Capt. Well, sir, as you please. But it's a dangerous game 
you're playing. 

Mat. Have no fear. I can play it. 



76 PIQUE. 

Capt. As you please, sir. I'll draw off my men. [^Isirfe.] 
It's lucky his son has just turned up and met us too. I'll consult 
him. The old gentleman will have his own way, but there's no 
help for it. [Pad. watches him off, L., Capt. pokes him in stomach 
with club as he passes. Pad. doubles ?ip.] 

Pad. He will have his joke, the dear, funny — old, infernal cop ! 
But it's done. Now, to be sure that they hoist sail and sheer off. 
There's old mother witch now, prompt as a dinner bell. {_Exits, L.] 

3Iat. It's a desperate game ! A shrewd gang of rascals. But 
if there are so many out in the streets upon the watch, I shall 
have fewer to deal with in whatever den they lead me to. 

Mother Thames enters and stands by entrance, r. She is an old 
crooning hag, dressed much like a rag-picker, with her head 
half enveloped in an old shawl. 

You come for me? \_She nods and ptoints off, then beckons him.'] 
Go on. Show me the way. I'll follow you. [_Exeunt, R.] 

Padder re-entering from l. 

Padder. Yes. She'll show him the way — the long way — up 
the streets and down the streets : for it's a hard road to Paradise ! 
\_Looks back.] The cops don't follow. All's well ! \_Gives a crow, 
off, like that of a cock. It is answered by another.] Good enough ! 
Now for a short cut and in at the brush. Fifty thousand dollars ! 
It's too good to be true ! Much too lovely to be realized ! But 
we'll have it if Ragraoney can make it. [_E.vits, R.] 

[Change.] 



PIQUE. 77 



Scene III. — "Beggars Paradise." Interior of a decayed house, 
showing the attic and the room beneath it. A door and win- 
doiv in attic. Windoiv c. Door r. Trap-door in floor of 
attic, and ladder reaching from it to the stage. In room be- 
neath, a door L. c, window c. Door at r. of same room and 
window L. The attic is furnished with a small stool and a 
jxdlet-bed on floor. The room beneath is furnished with a 
stove, in a sand-box. Table c. Two stools and a long bench 
L., a straw mattrass, and old- blanket. Night. No light in 
the rooms. Snoiv falling. Over the roof is seen the tops of 
surromiding houses, the telegraph poles, etc. A siairioay lead- 
ing uj) from a lower floor at L. c. 

Music. — Dymple and Thorsby creep up the stairs, l. c, cau- 
tiously. Both very much wrapped up and variously armed. 

Dymple. Nobody here, either. 

Thorsby. [c] No wonder — who would stay in such a hole ? 

Dym. [l.] We have the solemn word of the policeman on 
the beat, that this was Beggars Paradise. 

Thors. Yes, but he also informed us that no one lived in the 
old trap, now — that it had been deserted since the murder of a 
thief by his companion — six months ago. 

Dym. Well, nobody may live here. But if our pin-point 
memorandum is not a delusion, somebody has been here within a 
week, and the very people we want, too. 

Thors. \_At stove ] The stove's warm — and the remnants of a 
fire in it. That's not bad for a deserted house. 

Dym.. Stove, eh! \_Groping for it — knocks his head against 
the ladder.'] What the deuce is this ! a ladder ! 

Thors. A ladder ! 

Dym. \_Eubs his head.] Yes, a hard ladder. It's an invita- 
tion to mount higher. 

Thors. To the roof, I suppose. 

Dym. Or the top story of Paradise. \_Goes up.] 

Thors. [_At stove, trying to warm his hand.] Look out for 
your head and the scuttle. 

Dy7n. \_Pushes iip trap.] I've got it. 

Thors. {^Flappi7ig his arins.] Hold on to your hat, the wind 
blow^s hard in high latitudes. 

Dym. No wind here ! And no roof! Dark as pitch ! It's 
another room. [^Enters attic] 

Thors. {^Listening below, over stairs.] That sounds like a 
footstep. Some one's coming up. [ Calling up ladder.] Sammy ! 



78 PIQUE. 

Dym. [ Who has been groping about, stops.'] Well ? 

Thors. \_Alanned and in ^vhisper.] Somebody's coming! 

Dym. Come up here then, quick. 

Thors. There's more than oue. [^Euns uj) ladder — when at 
tojj.] Do you hear them ? 

Dym. Quick! Shut the trap! ^They close it gently. Then 
kneel breathessly and peep through holes in floor.] 

E.AGMONEY Jim enters tip the stairs with a candle, L. 

Jim. [To person below.] What the devil are you waiting 
for, come up. 

Raitch enters, dressed in rags, her face dirty; she wears a wicked 
and scowling expression. 

Raitch. [l.] I was a listening. 

Jim. What for ? 

Rai. Voices, I thought. 

Jhn. Couldn't be. [^Looks around.] You're getting squeamish. 

Rai. [^Indignantly.] No, I'm not. But what wonder, after 
the scare we had an hour ago, that drove us all kiting out oi 
this trap. 

Jhn. I thought the cops were on us sure enough — curse 
'em. 

Rai. Then this is a ticklish moment, Jim. It's win or lose 
everything to-night. 

Jim. So it is, gal. You're right. Nothing like caution. 
You're your father's daughter, you are, and I'm proud of such 
a niece. The psalm singing duffers havn't spoiled you, Sally — 
for all the years they had you. 

Rai. Can you spoil the real stuff, Jim ? Ain't true grit like 
true gold. Won't it shine as bright and feel as hard and ring as 
sharply after all its hoarding ? 

Jim. So it will. 

Rai. I've only been saved up for the old trade, I have, Jim. 
Saved up to make our fortunes. 

Jim. So you have. 

Rai. And yet you doubted me at first. You wanted to put 
me out of the way, you did, Jim. 

Jim. I axes your pardon, Sally. I didn't know you was the 
old sort at heart. Oh, you're a prize, Sally. 

Rai. [Savagely^ And yet you keep me like a prisoner. 

Jim. We're so fond of you, Sally. Besides, you've got a soft 
spot in you yet. You would send back that frock of yours. My 
mind ain't easy about it yet. It may get us into trouble. 



PIQUE. 79 

Dym. So it may. 

Rai. I didn't want their charity frock, Jim. We're in for 
bigger game than frocks. And what harm can come of it. 
Didn't you search it. [^Laughs boisterously. 1 I tell you, Jim, it 
will take a smart feller to spell anything out of that frock. 
[ Crosses to R.] 

Dym. So it did. Eh! Thorsby. 

Jw/i. [l.] Well, p'raps it's all right. But where's mother 
Thames ? She's to go for the old 'urn, where's she ? 

Bai. \_Points off L.] In there. Mad as ever. I say, Jim, 
how long has she been cracked. She wasn't so when I was a 
young 'un here before. 

Jim. Ever since her husband was hanged, and the babby she 
was nursing died that same day in her arms. Go get her. 
|_Rai. exits, L.] 

Dym. It's Kaitch, sure enough. 

Thors. They call her Sally. She's evidently one of the 
gang. 

Dym. I can't make it out. 

Thors. We'll have a healthy time getting out. 

Mother Thames enters with Arthur in rags, sleeping, following 

Raitch. 

Jim. Now then, old woman. 

Mother Thames. Hush ! You'll wake him. 

Jim. No we won't. \_Takes the child.'\ 

Mo. Th. Is he dead? 

Jim. No, you fool. 

Mo. Th. What did they kill my baby for! He was not 
sentenced. Wasn't poor Bill enough ! Stiff and cold ! Cold 
and dead ! He had done no harm. Give me my baby. 

Jim. By-and-bye. By-and-bye. I'll keep him safe till then. 
Hark ye ! an old man is waiting by the churchyard wall. Go 
bring him here. 

3fo. Th. Was he one of them that hanged my man ? 

Jim. Yes. 

Mo. Th. And you mean to kill him — you mean to kill 
him ! 

Jim. Yes. To squeeze the money from him first, and the 
life from him afterwards. 

Mo. Th. I'll go ! I'll go ! [^Draws shawl round her, goes up.^ 

Mai. I'll show you the way. 

Jim. \_Rudely shoving her bach.'\ No, you stay here ! 

Mo. Th. I know the way! I know! with the crook of my 



80 PIQUE. 

finger I'll bring him here. Trust me. When the death is on 
them they come. My boy went. Trust me. He'll come. \_Exifs 
L., staggering. J IM puts the child roughly on the 2xdlet.'\ 

Bai. Shall I take him. 

Jim. No ! [Savagehj.'] Havn't I told you so a thousand 
times. I'll trust him to no one, out of my arms, but to that 
mad woman, I defy the devil himself to get the brat from her, 
while she holds him in her arms and thinks in her crazy way 
that it's her dead child. He's safe there. He sleeps soundly. 
That last dose I gave him — 

Arthur. [ Wciking.~\ Mamma ! 

Jim. The devil! He's up again; light that fire! Ah, my 
precious kid, you want your mamma, do you. 

Arthur. Mamma ! 

Jim. Your mamma's coming, my dear ! I'm the new nurse, 
I am. 

Thors. {^Astonished.'] It's the baby. We've got 'em. 

Dym. More likely they've got us. 

Thors. What shall we do ? 

Dym. W^ait and see. 

Jim. Baby must go to sleep again. Sally, dear, where's the 
lovely sweet syrup of sugar plums, 

Mai. {Gets phial and spoon.~\ More drugs. Be careful, 
Jim. 

Jim. Oh, I'll be careful. Baby must have a sweet sleep and 
dream of mamma. Baby must sleep, or mamma won't come. 

A rthur. {Putting the spoon away.] No. 

Jim. You don't like it, eh ! Not when it's own Jim gives 
it to it's pretty baby. 

Arthur. No. {Pushes it away again.] 

Jim. What, you won't ! [ Gets ivhipj from under mattress.] 

Rai. Don't beat him again, Jim. I won't have it. 

Dym. I would like to give Mr, Jim some of that medicine for 
himself! 

Jim. Then make him take the dose, you sniveling fool. {She 
gives dose to child. Jim throws whip down^ There ! Hollo ! 
who the devil left this ladder here ? 

Rai. { Watching the child, ivho sleeps.] You did. 

Jim. I must have forgot. {Takes it away.] 

Dym. {Aghccst with terror.] He's taken away the ladder. 

Thors. Now we are gone. 

Dym. {Rising.] There's a window ! 

Thors. { Goes to it.] Three stories from the ground. 

Drjni. But the telegraph pole is not five feet from it. I could 
jump it if I had to. 



PIQUE. 81 

Thors. [^Tries door, R.] Here's a door. 

Dym. A door ? 

TJiors. But it's locked ! 

Bym. Oh ! 

Padder entering up the stairs below. 

Padder. He's coming. 

Jim. The child ? 

Rai. Fast asleep ! the drug's done it again. 

Jim. Hide him ! Under the pallet ! 

Rai. Under the pallet ? You forget what's under the pallet ! 

Jim. I know what I'm about. Under the pallet! [Rai. 
raises the pallet and conceals Arthur in a sj)ace helow.'] 

Pad. Look ye, Jim ! I think I ought to have the kid for 
safe keeping. 

Jim. [r.] You do — do you ? 

Pad. Yes, I do. While you've got him, you hold all the 
cards. What sort of a game is that for half a dozen to play ? 

Jim. Now see here, Padder — 

Dym. Thorsby ! 

Thors. What? 

Dym. That's my rascally valet. Oh, why did I ever part 
with him ! But I won't after to-night. 

Jim. No more words now ! Go to the room below. You've 
no business to come up. Go below with the others. 

Pad. There's enough there. 

Jim. And there's enough here ! Go, I tell you ! 

Pad. All right ! All right ! So long as you leave him under 
the pallet I'm satisfied. I can have him if I want him. 

Dym. Yes, and I'm satisfied. I'll have you when you don't 
want me. 

Jim. Away ! They're coming. [Pad. hurries down stairs, l. 
c. Rai. into room r. Music] 

Mother Thames enters by door in back, l. c, followed by Mat- 
thew. iShe points to Jim and goes back and off by same door. 
Mat. looks at Jim, and then looks around suspiciously. 

No fear, Governor ! we are alone here, you and me. 

Matthew, [l. c] I wish to be sure of that. 

Jim. You shall be, \_Goes to each door and bolts it.'\ There! 
Take a seat. We can talk at our ease. 

Mat. \_Sits by table.'] You are the writer of this letter. 

Jim. Yes. 
6 



82 PIQUE. 

3Iat. You can restore my grandchild to me ? 

Jim. I can. 

Mat. Where is he ? 

Jim. Safe enough ! Pay for him and he's yours. 

Mat. Are you the man that took him from my home. 

Jim. [r.] Don't you remember me ? 

Mat. l^Looks at him.'\ Yes, I remember you ! I fed you 
when you were starving, and instead of sending you to jail for a 
vagrant, I gave you shelter in my house. 

Jim. Why, as for that, Governor, I was no more starving 
than you are ! And as for not sending me to jail — the more fool 
you — 

Mai. Where is the child ? Here ? 

Jim. Oh, no ! we don't keep such precious jewels here. We 
have a safe deposit vault of our own. Pay our price and you 
can have him. 

3fat. What is your price. 

Jim. \_Impressiveli/.'] Fifty thousand dollars, down. 

Mat. You are mad. 

Jim. Oh, no, I'm not. You're rich ! You'd give half a mil- 
lion rather than know this boy was lost to you forever. But I'm 
not extortiouate. Fifty thousand ! 

3fat. You don't expect me to carry such a sum. 

Jim. Oh, no ! I'm not unreasonable. You've got twenty, 
perhaps, with you — or ten — even five ! I'll take that and give 
you time for the rest. 

3Iat. How much time? 

Jim. Half an hour. 

3Iat. And suppose I have no money with me?" 

Jim. You shall have half an hour to get it. 

Mat. [^Rising ] Very well ! I'll be back in half an hour. 
[Jim rises quickly and lays his hand on Mat's arm.'\ 

Jim. [ Catching his arm.'l Oh, no ! We'll send. We couldn't 
trouble you to go yourself. 

Mat. [ Coolly.'] And that means ? — 

Jim. That you must stay here. 

Mat. [Sitting again.] My good fellow, you have locked all 
the doors. That is to say, you have put yourself in my power. 
I have only to stretch out my hand and you will be completely 
at ray mercy. 

Jim. [Leaning over the table and slowly eyeing him.] You'll 
try your strength with me. 

Mat. Certainly. [Suddenly grasping his ivrist.] So think 
better of it. Give me the child or tell me where it is ! 



PIQUE. 83 

Forces Jim, after a struggle, to his knees. Meamvhile the door on 
the L. opens, and a man mashed, dressed like a laborer, enters, 
carrying a pick. He stands by the window. This is Picker 
Bob. 

Jim. Well played, Governor ! Give me time to think. Five 
seconds will do. Give me five seconds and you shall have my 
answer, [On his knees.'] 

Another masked man enters—it is Faddbh— from door c.,flat, car- 
rying an axe. He stands down by L. door. 

Mat. You have your five seconds. 
Jim. And you have your answer. 

Two men also, masked and disguised as laborers, enter at n. ; they 
carry a spade and an iron bar, and confront Mat. He sees 
them, releases Jim and turns slowly. As he does so, another ■ 
ruffian enters from door c, and stands by it. 

Would you like to try your strength with me now, eh ? [^Down 
R. c, baring his arms.~\ 

Mat. What do you wish, gentlemen ? 

Jim. Write a letter to the mother of this child. Tell her to 
come here— alone — and with the money we demand. With her 
jewels, too — do you hear? we know she has them and what they 
are worth. \_Puts pen, ink and paper on table, which he gets from 
shelf before window."] Write, and quickly. 

Mat. I'll write! [Aside.] It may gain time. [He advances 
to the table and tvrites. The men around the room are as immov- 
able as statues.] There ! 

Jim. [Picks it up and reads.] What ? So near ? At a hotel, 
eh ? They all followed you down so's to be handy, did they. So 
much the better. We won't have long to wait. "^ Here, mother I 

Mother Thames enters, folloioed by Raitch. 

Take this ! [ Whispers in her ear.] You understand ? 

Mother Thames. I understand. [Shows knife.] 

Jim. That's handy, if they try any of their tricks on you. 
Quick ! [She exits at back.] 

Mat. One bold push, and I'll be before her. 

Jim. [Bolts L. c] There. 

Dym. Why can't we shoot him at once. [Pulls out very large 
horse pistol.] 



84 PIQUE. 

Thors. There are six of 'em. Wait. 

Dym. Wait ! While we wait they'll bring Mabel here. 

Thors. Hush ! Look at the old man. 

3Iat. [ JVho had passed down r. c, near a stool or broken c/iaiV.] 
The window can't be far from the ground. I've leaped many a 
time furtiier than that. 

Jim. Come, Governor, sit down and be patient. The old gal 
won't be long. She's a little flighty in the head, but she goes an 
errand like a bullet to its mark. These are all good fellows. 
Owing to the very strong light of the candle they have to wear 
shades, but that rather improves their appearance. 

3Iat. Aye, they look like agreeable fellows, and so, if you 
don't object, I'll — {Suddenly fells Jim with the chair'\ I'll say 
good night to you all. \_Darts to the window,, places foot on bench 
and. tries to get out.^ 

Jim. {On fioor.^ Seize him! stop him! {All lay hold of 
Mat. a scuffle between him and the men, and Jim, wJio seizes a 
rope from the pallet. Dym. and Thors., in their excitement, run 
up and down the attic. Mat. is finally brought to his knees.'] 
Hark ! {A dead silence ensues. Dym. and Thors. stand petri- 
fied.'] I heard a noise up there ! in the attic. 

Dym. We are gone ! 

Jim. {To Rai^ You, there! up and see what it is! [Rai. 
goes to door, R., and exits^ 

Dym. She's coming up here. 

Thors. Shall we shoot her? 

Dym. No use. Shooting her won't kill the others. 

Raitch enters attic by door, R., looks at them. They gaze at her, 
transfixed. She goes to the trap and opens it. 

Jim. {Looking uj).] Well? 

Raitch. {Peeping through scuttle.] There's nobody here ! 

Jim. Are you sure ? 

Rai. Yes*. {She exits, looking back at Thors. and Dym. 
without uttering word or sign.] 

Jim. Secure him. {They jnnion the old man noiselessly and 
wait.] 

Thors. Thank Heaven ! 

Dym. She's a trump! 

Thors. Do you know if her face was washed she'd be rather a 
pretty girl. 

Dyyn. {Peremptorily^ None of that ! She belongs to me. 
She's my clew. I've got her frock, and damme, I will have her. 



PIQUE. 85 

Raitch re-enters below. 

Jim. What was it ? 

Raitch. Rats. [Thoks. looks at Dym. and bursts into a sup- 
pressed laugh. Dym. jmnches him in side indignantly.'] 

Thors. I say, Dymple, you're a rat ! 

Dym. A live rat ! that's some comfort. 

Jim. [To men.] Tie him to the rail yonder. [They fasten 
him., kneeling, to the bannister at c] It was a bold stroke, Gover- 
nor. A risky thing, though, for one of your years. But I 
admire your pluck. 

3fat. Well. I'm in your power. 

Jim. Of course you are. You're a rich man, Governor! 
owner of ten mills and factories, worth four or five millions, but 
just now you're in the hands of the laboring class, the hard-fisted 
men of toil. 

3fat. Thieves, you mean. 

Jim. That's right, call us thieves — that's all you can do. 
We call you rich men thieves — that's all we can do. But now 
we'll have no hard names. We'll adjust the differences between 
capital and labor in a quiet way. You hire eight hundred men 
to Avork for you. You've made your millions out of them. It 
isn't fair. Share your profits with them as earned 'em. 

Mat. Did any of you wretches ever work for me ? No ! I 
Avon't believe it. 

Jim. No. We're simply a committee of the whole. We 
can't bring the eight hunclred here. I'm chairman ! My name's 
Ragmoney Jim. 

Mat. Humph — you're Ragmoney Jim ! 

Jim. Yes. Don't sneer ! I'm Ragmoney by name, but I'm 
hard money by principle. But they call me Ragmoney because 
I haven't got any money at all. And as I read in the papers 
that rag money's no money, why the name suits me exactly. 

3Iat. Well ! 

Jim. [_Sits R. c] Padder, the chair appoints you a com- 
mittee to search the capitalist and find out how much of our 
money he's got about him. 

Padder. All right ! [Searches him.] Not a red ! 

Jim. [Throwing chair away, angrily^ What! Nothing? A 
regular plant. You never meant honest and fair then, did you, 
when you came after the child. Damme if I ever trusts a 
Massachusetts Yankee again. 

Pad. He came here to nose out our secret. He's a spy. 

All. Yes, a spy ! 

Jim. What shall Ave do Avith the spy, lads ? 



86 PIQUE. 

All. \_Intensely, hut not loud.'] Kill him ! 

Jim. You hear these gentlemen. They actually feel that 
you're too mean to live. And I'm of their opinion, 

Pick. Boh. Here's my axe handy. 

Jim. \_Crosse8 to Maf] Come, what do you say. [Pad. 
whimpers to him as if dissuading him.] 

Dijm. Now or never, Thorsby ! It's to save his life we must 
risk ours. Is the window open? 

Thors. [^Holds it open.] Yes. 

Dxjm. Take my pistol. If the worst comes to the worst before 
I come back, give it to them hot and heavy. As for me, I'll go 
for the police. Here's the pole and here goes, by telegraph. 
\_Gets Old.] 

Thors. Look out, old fellow ! There ! He's on it. He slides 
down. The deuce, he's torn his trousers to ribbons. He's on the 
ground ! He's off! \_Closes window and returns to tvatch.] 

Jim. ■ [^Nodding and putting Pad. off.] All right! l_To 3fat.] 
Well, are you dumb ? 

Rai. [^Coming down R. c] Speak out, Governor, don't be 
shy. 

Mat. [^Toher.] You belong to this wretched life in earnest 
then. Blood will tell after all. 

Rai. Aye. Blood will tell. Did you think you had turned 
it to water by your Sunday-schools and primer books. 

Mat. Rachel, think of the poor mother whose heart bleeds for 
her stolen child to-night. I don't care for my own life, but if all 
the innocent years you spent under my roof have left one good 
impulse in your heart, make that mother happy again. 

Jim. Stuff! Let's have no more of that. Come, boys, let's 
finish the sermon. \_They advance, Rai. stays them^ 

Thors. \_Cocking the pistol.] One shot at the first man that 
touches him. 

Rai. [To Jim. and Pad^ Don't be a fool! Nor you 
neither. Let's have no blood for them to track us by. Take 
him below. That's the way to settle him. 

• Jim. [ To men, who murmur.] She's right ! [ To Pad.] Who's 
in the room below? 

Pad. All the rest, armed and ready, watching the signal and 
ready for the police, with the kid. 

Jim. Then the room below won't do. It's no use, Sally. We 
must give him a dose. 

Rai. Y"ou shan't kill him. 

Jim. Out of the way. 

Rai. Jim, he was good to me. 

Pad. Out of the way ! [ They hurl Rai. aside.] 



PIQUE. 87 

Door opens and Mabel enters, disguised as Mother Thames. All 

stop. 

Jim. AVhat ! Old Flighty ! Back so soon? The woman? 

Mabel. Coming. 

Jim. Alone ? 

Mabel. Aye, my precious. 

Jim. She's a plucky one. But I knew the bait would bring 
her. Now get into your room. We've accounts to settle, and 
you're in the way. 

Mabel. [ Crosses to c] Yes, I'll go ! Give me the baby ! 

Jim. Never you mind the baby ! Get into your den ! 

Mabel. Oh, my poor baby! He isn't dead. I've had him in 
my arms all day — he isn't dead. 

Pad. [Seizing her and flinging her to R. H. corner^] Stop 
your raving! 

Jim. Curse me if Mother hasn't lost her voice and her wits 
together. Get to your room. 

Eai. [Aside to her, on her L.] Oh, what brought you here? 

Jim. What's this? [Roughly seizing Eai. and flinging her 
aside.'] Get up! [To Mabel, whom he flings down stage to L. c, 
near Mat.'] Where's the woman I sent you for? 

Mabel. On the stairs, below! [Commences to untie Mat's 
bonds and aside to him.] Father ! 'Tis I — Mabel ! 

Jim. [ To Fad^ Bring her here. [Pad. goes towards door at 
hack.] Now, boys — who'll finish this old fraud? What shall it 
be? Axe, or knife, "or rope? [They hold back. Tears paper at 
table, and ivrites on one.] Here! we'll do the job by lot. The 
one that draws this wins the prize. Where's a hat? Give me a 
hat. 

Pad. by this time opens the door, and Captain Standish steps in. 

Standish. Scoundrels! You want a hat? [Takes off cap.] Take 
mine. 

Jim. Betrayed ! [Pad. and Rai. exit precipitately at l.] 

iStan. Stir hand or foot and you are dead men. [Dymple 
and Police appear behind him ; Jim and the ruffians with Pick. 
Bob make a dash for the stairs. Sailors, led by the Doctor, ap- 
pear there.] 

Thors. Hurrah! 

Mabel. [Throws off disguise.] My child! [Cids Mat's bonds 
and he springs up.] 

Dym. Beneath the pallet. 

Mabel. The bed! [Jim falls on his knees and raps on floor, 



88 PIQUE. 

as Thors. seizes him. Mabel runs to bed, which Dym. removes. 
They discover an open trap and no child.'\ He's gone ! 

Jim. Now find him if you can ! The first that puts a foot to 
follow gets a bullet through his heart. \_AllJall hack.'] 

Mahel. If no man dares go! let me! 

Mat. No ! No ! [Holds her back.] 

Stan. Scoundrel! [Hurls him to L.] Farewell! Mabel! 
My life for our child's ! [Darts down trap. Pistols heard.] 

Curtain. 



ACT V. 

Scene. — Parlors at the Renfrew city residence. Night. Twenty- 
fotir hours have elapsed since the last Act. Chandelier 
lighted. Mabel is discovered lying on sofa, c, propped with 
cushions, her face buried in the pillow. Doctor Gossitt 
walks up and down at back, in thought, his hands behind him. 
Mary is at table near the sofa, pouring from a vial into 
a small wine-glass a potion. Thorsby looks in at door, R. 1 
e. Music. 

Thorsby. [In whisper to Mary, still on threshold.] Can I come 
in ? [Mary pids uj) her finger in caution ; puts vial on table, 
goes to Mabel, finds her apparently asleep, then comes down to 
Thors.] 

Mary, [l.] Have you just got back ? 

Ihors. Yes. 

Mary. [Crosses to c] We have been waiting so anxiously. 
[The conversation that ensues is carried on down C, so as not to 
disturb Mabel.] 

Thors. The information we got was correct. The villains 
carried him across the river. 

Doc. [l., coming down.] Arthur and his father have gone 
there ! 

Dorothy enters from l. 1 e. 

Dorothy. Ah, Mr. Gyll — what have you discovered ? 
Thors. [r.] They will soon know the worst. 
Dor. The worst ? 



PIQUE, 



89 



Thors. I'm afraid the report sent us this afternoon was true. 
Poor little Arthur ! 

Mary. Poor Mabel ! [ Goes up to her.'] 

Doc. I was afraid of it. Cold, exposure to the wintry night, 
brutal treatment, all have done their cruel work. 

Dor. It is impossible. I won't believe it ! [To T/ioj-s.] Have 
you seen your friend ? 

TJiors. Sammy? Yes — for a moment! He just got a mes- 
sage from that girl — 

Doc. Rachel ! Humph ! [ Turns off impatiently and goes up, 
stojjping a moment to look at MaheL] 

Thors. Yes — and he went off in search of her, expecting to 
bring her and the baby back together. [Dor. shakes her head 
doubtfully and goes up to the Doc., as Mary returns to Thors.'s 
sidci Does Mabel know — 

Mary. She suspects the worst. 

Thors. It will kill her. 

Mary. I never was so miserable in all my life. 

Thors. And to think that if it had only ended happily — you 
and I, Mary, would have been so happy, too. \_Takes her hand.] 
But I can Avait. For your sake I'd wait twenty years. 

Mary. Don't let's speak of ourselves now. 

Thors. [Going towards R.J And perhaps it's all my fault. 
I could have shot that villain a dozen times over. 

3Iary. But that would not have saved little Arthur. Their 
plans were too well taken. 

Thors. All our trouble came to nothing. 

3fary. You all did the best you could. 

Tho7-s. We did nothing at all, if all we did comes to nothing. 
[They go off, R. 1 E., looking back at Mabel.] 

Dor. [At back, to Doc] That's Arthur's step ! 

Standish enters, R. 1 E., hat and coat; quite dejected. Dor. runs 
to him as if to question ; he sadly shakes his head. She goes 
off, L., handkerchief to her eyes. Stan, lays his hat and coat off. 

Standish. [To Doc] Has she slept any ? [Very loiv.] 

Doc I hope so. She has not moved ! 

Mabel. [Half raises her head.] Who's there? Is that Ar- 
thur ? [Stan, jyresses the Doc's hand. Doc. goes off, r. door. 
Stan, comes down.] 

Stan, [r.] Mabel ? 

Mabel. You have come back — alone ! [He is about to speak.] 
Don't speak. I understand! There is no hope! Arthur is 
dead. [Sinks on sofa.] My child is dead ! [Stan, apjjroaches 
her.] 



90 PIQUE. 

Stan. My wife ! 

Mabel. [Starting up in tears^ It is I have done it — I have 
killed him. 

Stan. \_Taking her hand.'] Mabel, an hour ago you Avere 
calm. You were prepared for the worst. Do you forget that I 
knelt by your side, and in our doubt and suspense we promised 
each other that if this new sorrow must be borne, Ave would bear 
it together. 

Mabel, [l. of hhn^ Oh, my little one ! I shall never — 
never see you again ! [Sinks on to seat.~\ 

Stan. [Sinks on knee, gently^ Mabel ! 

Mabel. It is pitiful, is it not — to have my baby suffer for me! 
I would have borne death — I did confront it in that den last 
night, with unfaltering courage — because I hoped to give him 
back to you. It is denied me. But they will bring him here — 
they will let me see my baby. 

Stan. If you are able to bear this grief. 

Mabel. Don't let them keep him from me. I have been pun- 
ished enough. [Rises.'\ 

Stan. Who speaks of punishment, my darling, my wife. Am 
I not here? Is not the past forever buried out of sight? Are 
we not reunited, never to part? 

Mabel. [Crosses to R.] I dare not listen to your love and 
kindness. I dare not meet your glance, for it will ask me for 
what I have not to give. His life would be pardon — Avould be 
mercy — would be love — what have I to live for since I deserve 
neither j^ardon nor mercy. 

Stan. We will live for each other, Mabel. Not despairing! 
Not hopeless! The remembrance of our child shall not be a 
gloom, but a joy to us. We will think of little Arthur as he 
used to be. At night the glimmer of a little face in the darkness 
will greet us. In sleep the soft fingers of your baby will press 
your bosom, and you will smile in your dream of happiness. 
And when we Avalk forth the flowers opening their blossoms to 
the sky, Avill point to his true resting jDlace, and teach us what 
happiness may spring from grief. 

Mabel. Oh ! my little one ! My little one ! [In a flood of 
tears she buries her head on his shoulder.^ 

Dorothy entering, l. u. e. 

Dorothy. Tears ! Blessed tears ! They will soon wash aAvay 
her sorrow. Let me take her to her room, Arthur ! come, my 
darling ! [All exeunt, l. door.l 



PIQUE. 91 

Dymple entering cautiously, r. 1 e. 

Dymple. No oue here ! [^Loohs around cautiously^ I'm glad 
of that. I wouldn't have Thorsby see me for the world. Came 
in by the basement way to avoid him. Here! [^Turns to door 
and speaks ojf.] Come in ! [_Impatient^ Come in ! 

Raitch appears dressed neatly in the frock of third act, new boots, 
etc., hair very tidy. Dym. grasps her hand. 

Raitch. [ J.S he pulls her."] Oh ! 

Dym. Don't mind my holding on to you. You're our best 
bower anchor now — and I'm afraid of your slipping the cable 
and drifting away. 

Rai. If you please, I won't drift away. 

Dym. Perhaps not. But luck has taken so many turns lately 
that I can't trust even myself You're an important person 
now, Rachel. Principal witness for the prosecution. You can 
identify every one of the rascals, and you can prove they dosed 
the baby with drugs. 

Rai. Yes. I couldn't even prevent that. 

Dym. Perhaps it's as well — for you made Padder and his 
mates believe he was dead when he slept so long, and so Padder 
and the rest deserted you in a fright — and you sent word to the 
police and me — and so the baby is found. 

Rai. Mayn't I see Miss Dorothy now ? 

Dym. In a moment. — I say. You're not in a hurry to get 
rid of me, are you ? 

Rai. Oh, no indeed, Mr. Dymple. You are so good and so 
clever. You found out the paper I put in the frock — and you 
came and found out me ! 

Dym. Yes, I did — I found you out — you see I've been think- 
ing of you. 

Rai. Of me ? 

Dym. Don't you know you saved my life up there in the 
attic — last night ? when you called me a rat ? 

Rai. You know why, now ! 

Dym. I began to think of you then. And when the wretches 
in the room below carried off the baby — you followed them — in 
the cold and snow — with nothing on worth thinking about ! Do 
you know what you are, Rachel? {^Puts his arm around her 
waist^ 

Rai. No, sir ! 

Dym. A heroine ! If you were in a book everybody would 
fall in love with you. As it is — I love you ! \_Kisses her.'\ 



92 PIQUE. 

Rai. Please, sir. 

Dym. Please ? What, more ? 

Rai. That's very wrong. 

Dym. What's very wrong ? 

Rai. To kiss me ! 

Dym. How old are you '? 

Rai. Sixteen ! 

Dym. \^All right, kisses her again.l Then it'll not be wrong 
for a couple of years yet. 

Rai. Please let me go ! 

Dym. Rachel, I want to ask you something ! Don't be fright- 
ened — I want you to promise me something. When you are 
eighteen years old, Rachel, I want you to marry me. 

Rai. [_Swi)igi)ig hands to and fro. ~\ Oh, sir — I couldn't. 

Dym. You don't know what you can do when you're eighteen. 

Rai. [^Turning away.'] No, no — I couldn't if I was eighty. 

Dym. Why not ? 

Rai. I am only a poor girl and very ignorant. 

D^jm. I'll put you to school, and if in two years you are not 
as accomplished, as intelligent, and as good as any young lady in 
the land, I won't marry you — I'll eat you ! 

Rai. Oh, I couldn't — Miss Dorothy'd be angry. 

Dym. Miss Dorothy shall be your aunt by marriage. She's 
mine now. I adopted her yesterday. 

Rai. No — it's impossible. I'd do any thing in the world to 
make you happy, but it's impossible. 

Dijm. Impossible? 

Rai. Yes, sir, please. 

Dym. \_Angrilyl] I believe there ain't a woman in the world, 
high or low, will have me. It's a conspiracy among the sex ! 
Look here, Rachel — 

Rai. I can't, sir, it's impossible! 

Dym. Rachel, in the adjoining apartment there is a perjured 
villain, who is at this moment sitting with his arm around the 
waist of a young and beautiful creature. He's going to marry 
her. He's happy! You wouldn't see a perjured villain happy, 
and me miserable, Avould you ? 

Rai. Oh, no, indeed ! 

Dyvi. Then I tell you what I'll do. Promise me, and I'll 
speak to Aunt Dorothy. She'll take charge of you, and in two 
years — \^Hugs /ter.] 

Rai. There's somebody coming! 

Dym. Let 'em come! 



PIQUE. 



93 



Kisses her as Raymond mid Lucille enter, n. u. e., and stop, 
seeing the kiss. 

Raymond. Hollo ! [Rai. screams and runs out, R. 1 E.] I say 
— it's young Pimple, kissing the girl. 
Dym. Dymple, sir — not Pimple ! 

Lucille. [ Crosses to c] My dear Mr. Dymple, what news have 
you got 'for us ? These Aveddings are such a bother, and I've been 
out all the afternoon shopping for mine. Mabel was asleep when 
I went out, and everybody was so sad and quiet, I felt more like 
preparicg for a funeral than a marriage. But, of course, Mabel 
is welcome to every comfort my house affords — and her dear little 
baby — any further news of dear, little Arthur? 

Dym. Oh, you'll see him, soon, Mrs. Renfrew ; his grandfather 
is bringing him. 

Luc. He's found, then ? That's so nice! 
Dym Yes, he's found, safe and sound, too — after a good, long 
sleep. \_Aside, going out.^ They are going to be married, are 
they? I wish 'em joy. [.E'.cife, r. 1 e.] 

Luc. [l., to Ray.] You must be good to everybody, now, 
you naughty boy, that we're going to be married. 
Ray. [ Quizzically.'] Yes, the long agony is over. 
Luc. What long agony? Do you refer to our courtship? 
Ray. No, dear, to the doubt and suspense in which I have 
been kept for these years, by your fickleness. 

Luc. You mean by your own procrastination, my love. It's 
only within a week or two that you've actually urged me to name 
the day. It's well you did, you naughty fellow— for I actually 
began to think you were waiting for me to ask you. 

Ray. Why didn't you? It would have been so deliciously 
original and novel. As it is, there's nothing original about our 
marriage — not even the bride, for she's a widow. 

Luc. And I'm sure you're as bad. You can't deny you've 
made love to a dozen. 

Ray. No, I can't deny it. Nobody would believe me. 
[^Strokes his moustache. Crosses'i,.] 
Luc. Oh ! If you were not so vain. 

Ray. Can't help being vain. You've accepted me as your 
future husband. 

Liic. [Tartly.] There, there ! a truce ! You always get _ the 
best of me when you begin your compliments. But mind! 
[Tapping him sweetly on cheek with her fan.] I don't believe one 
of them. 



94 PIQXJE. 

Dorothy enters, r. 1 e., agitated and breathless, followed by Raitch. 

Dorothy. [ Crosses to c] Oh, sir, wliei'e is Arthur ? 

May. Captain Standish ? can't say. 

Dor. I have such news for him. 

Luc. What news? 

Dor. His child alive, and well. 

Due. Mr. Dymple just told us. 

Dor. But Arthur believes — they told him — 

Luc. What? 

Dor. That his child was found, but dead. 

Doctor Gossitt enters quickly, followed by Dymple, r . 1 e. 

Doctor. l^To Dor.^ Have you seen him ? 
Bay. [ To Dor."] Captain Standish believes his child dead ? 
and Mabel, too ? 

Standish appears at l. u. e. 

Standish. What is the matter ? What has happened ? [/?i 
loiv, anxious voice.l Have they brought him back ? 

Doc. \_Crosses to l., advancing.^ Arthur, are you able to bear 
good news? 

Stan. [^Loohs from one to the other. "l Good news? 

Ray. \_Franhly advancing and restraining Doc] Doctor, I 
have a favor to ask of you. Captain Standish has reason to 
think bitterly enough of me. I wish to be remembered by him 
in connection with the happiest moment of his life, and I beg you 
to let me be the first to tell him — \_As he turns to Stan.'] that his 
child is alive and well. 

Stan. [l. c, supporting himself against sofa, and in a hoarse 
whisper.'] My child is alive ? 

Doc. The report of his death was false, founded on a natural 
mistake. 

Stan. Do you believe this? (Looking from one to the other.] 
All of you? 

Hai. [ Coming forward.] I know it ! 

Stan. Rachel ! Then it is true ! 

Thorsby and Mary enter, r. 1. e., in excitement. 

Mary. Arthur, have you heard ! 
Tliors. The good news ? 
Mary. They are coming ! 



PIQUE. 95 

Stan. \^Runs to l. u. d. and calls, agitatedly.'] Mabel. 

Doc. \_Stops /u'm.] For Heaven's sake. 

Stan. I must tell her. 

Doc. In that fashion ? No, no, come back. The news must 
be broken gently. She has suffered too much. Sudden joy 
sometimes kills. 

Dor. But Matthew is coming. He may be even now at the 
door. [Runs up to window, c] 

Doe. Run and keep him back. [Thors. and Mary dart out, 
R.] Who will tell her? Not you. [To Stari.l I have it. 
Rachel. The sight of her is half the glad tidings told. Stay 
here, Rachel. And all of you go. Go with me, Arthur. [Exit 
Stan, into door, r. u. e.] Come, my boy. [Ring heard at door.] 

Dor. It is Matthew. 

Doc. Go to him. [Dor. exits, r. 1 e.] Now all of you. 

Dym., ivho has been whispering to Rai., kisses her, exits tvith a 
wink at her, L. 1 E., followed by Luc. and Ray. Doc. goes 
off, R. u. E., as Mabel ap2)ears, l. u. e. Music. 

Mabel. Arthur! Did you call? [Comes down.] No one 
here ? I thought I heard his voice calling to me, and in a tone 
so strange and loud. Is it fancy — am I then becoming crazed 
with this great sorrow ? [Rai. has crept forivard and kneels 
softly at her side, and takes her dress in her hand.] Who is this ? 
Rachel ! 

Rai. [r., k7ieels.] Yes, it is I— it is I, Miss Mabel. Don't 
look at me so sorrowfully. I have come back to you. 

Mabel. [Looks around eagerly.] Alone ! 

Rai. No — no — no ! Not alone ! You don't believe I would 
come back without little Arthur ! I was with him every day — 
every minute. I wouldn't let them touch him when I could help 
it — for I had promised the little angels in heaven to protect him 
— so he is coming. 

Mabel. They are bringing him to me. 

Rai. He is coming. Oh, Miss Mabel, don't you understand 
—would anybody hurt a little child? 

Mabel. [In a frenzy of agitation.] Rachel ! do you know 
what you are telling my heart ? You are telling me of hope — 
to expect — 

Rai. Yes, Miss Mabel— to hope for joy ! To expect your 
greatest happiness. Oh, IVIiss Mabel, they are at the door. 
Don't start back — don't cry out — he may be asleep. 

Mabel. Arthur, where are you ? 



96 PIQUE. 

Standish enters, r. 1 d. 

Standish. My darling! 
3Iabel. My child ? 

Matthew appears at r. u. d., holding Little Arthur aloft 
in his arms. The child's arms are outstretched. All enter. 
Thorsby cmd Mary, r, 1 e. Dorothy and Doctor, 
R. u. E. Dymple, Lessing and Lucille, l. 1 e. 

Child. Mamma ! 

Mabel. JNIy baby ! [ With a cry of joy she rushes towards it. 
Mat. vieets her half-way and places the child in her arms. She 
sinks on her knees to clasp it and cover it with kisses.'\ 

Stan. Father ! [Mat. and Stan, embrace.'] 

Mat. Joy — ^joy, my son. No happier day can my old eyes 
ever see. There! poor mother, clasp your child. Safe and 
sound. Thanks to Providence, and under Providence to her. 

Mahel. Kachel ! [Rai. kneels by the baby and kisses him and 
MabeVs hand.'] Father! [Takinff his hand.] Arthur! [Stan. 
raises her, she sits on sofa, c, ivith the child, and a group forms 
about her.] 

Mat. If there's an enemy in the world, I forgive him. I 
could take by the hand the veriest scamp in the universe. 
\_Sees Ray., and suddenly comes forivard and grasps his hand.] 
Ah ! Mr. Lessing ! 

May. Thanks ! I'm sure you're very good. But I've re- 
formed. I'm going to be married. Retribution has overtaken 
me. l^Takes Luc's hand in his arm.] 

Mat. I wish you joy. Everybody ought to be married, now. 
We couldn't celebrate our happiness better than by a wedding. 

Thors. \_Advancing, stepjnng fortvard with 3Iary.] Do you 
think so, sir? then of course you'll consent to — 

Mat. What you ? With all my heart. Take her. She's a 
good girl ! and — who else ? 

Dym. [Takes Rai.' s hmid.] Who else? We. 

3fat. You will marry Rachel! 

Dym. This day two years. I'll order the cards to-morrow. 

Padder enters at R. 1 e., and beckons on Ragmoney Jim. 

Mabel. \_Seeing themi] Those men ! [ Clasps her child.] 
Arthur. 

Doc. Those scoundrels here? 

Padder. Don't forget us in the general joy. Don't forget I 



PIQUE. 97 

was the means of restoring the precious babby. I cleared out 
so as Sally could send word where he Avas this morning — 

Jim. And I would have done it myself if I could. 

Pad. Any little remuneration you feels like giving us for our 
good intentions Avill be werry acceptable. 

Jim. The winter's on us — and — 

Stan, [c] Why, you scoundrels, did I not see you both 
lodged in prison ? 

Jim. We was bailed out this arternoon ! 

Mat. You shall not escape. 

Jim. Oh, yes we will. We has a good lawyer and a good 
defence. 

Doc. Defence ? 

Jiyn. Yes, sir! Emotional insanity. I lost a babby myself 
some years ago, and ever since I've had a hankering arter other 
peoples — 

Dym. l^Advancing to him.'\ Get out. 

Pad. Sir, think of our former relations. 

Dym. Get out ! Thorsby ! [Thors. goes to hiin.'] 

Pad. Oh, very well, if you treats us that way. 

Jim. We wishes you good evening ! 

Pad. Ditto! Ditto! \_An officer appears at r. 1 E. and 
beckons them off^ 

Mat. Can they escape? 

Doc. Don't be afraid of that. I see twenty years apiece 
written on both their faces. No. Let us now think only of the 
happiness we have here. 

Mabel. Yes. A happiness that begins to-night for me — 
\_Takes Stan's hand.'] and that will endure while heart can beat, 
or life can last. Father! \_To Mat.~\ To-morrow you will take 
us home. 

[Curtain.] 



Mabel. 

Matthew. Child. Standish, 

Doctor. Lessing. 

■ Dorothy. Lucille. 

Thorsby. Dy^mple. 

Mary. Raitch. 



PIQUE. 



A PLAY OF TO-DAY, 



IN FIVE ACTS. 



AUGUSTIN DALY. 



AS ACTED AT DALY'S NEW FIFTH AVENUE THEATRE FOR 
THE FIRST TIME, DECEMBER 14th, 1875. 



NEW YORK: 
PRINTED AS MANUSCRIPT ONLY, FOR THE AUTHOR. 

1884. 



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